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Glenavon 3 Portadown 2: Patton ends wait for derby win

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 In the net: Rhys Marshall gets congratulations from Guy Bates and Andy McGrory after scoring Glenavon's second goal PRESSEYE

In the net: Rhys Marshall gets congratulations from Guy Bates and Andy McGrory after scoring Glenavon's second goal PRESSEYE

Presseye.com

In the net: Rhys Marshall gets congratulations from Guy Bates and Andy McGrory after scoring Glenavon's second goal PRESSEYE

MARK Patton ended Glenavon's long wait for a Boxing Day derby victory with the winning goal in the dying seconds of a pulsating contest.

Patton came off the bench as a replacement for Kyle Neill to end 17 years of Christmas agony in Lurgan.

The ex-Portadown winger struck with a vicious left foot volley in the final moments of added time to give Glenavon a 3-2 win.

It was a sensational ending to a game which only got the go-ahead half-an-hour before kick-off time because the pitch was frost bound.

Glenavon led 2-0 at half-time thanks to two goals in three minutes from player-boss Gary Hamilton and rising star Rhys Marshall.

But bitter rivals Portadown stormed back and were level within 11 minutes of the second half.

Peter McMahon needed two bites at his opportunity to pull one back on 49 minutes and Darren Murray grabbed the equaliser in the 56th.

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Hamilton said: "Glenavon have waited a long time so this one is for the supporters and everyone who has worked hard in the background for the club.

"There was a strong wind and we took advantage in the first half and should probably have gone in further in front.

"Portadown did the same in the second half and they too had one or two chances."

Rival boss Ronnie McFall moaned: "I thought overall a draw would have been a fair result.

"We showed great character to come back from two goals down to make it 2-2. Gary Twigg had a golden chance to win it– you'd have put your house on him finishing it off.

"Murray had a couple of chances too so it was sickening to lose the way it turned out.

"Yes, it was a kick in the teeth to have lost it with what was the last kick of the ball."

The Ports survived a close scare in the sixth minute when Marshall's header from Kyle Neill's corner came back off the crossbar.

Glenavon goalkeeper Andy Coleman came off his line and completely miskicked, but when Murray tried to cash in his shot was blocked by retreating defenders.

The hosts went in front five minutes before the break when McGrory fed Hamilton and he lashed home a beauty.

And before the Ports could catch their breath Marshall hooked home a second.

The second half was only four minutes old when McMahon sparked Portadown's comeback, blasting home after his first effort was blocked.

And when the home side failed to deal with Chris Casement's corner, Murray pounced and suddenly it was game on.

Twigg took advantage of a rare Marshall mistake and dragged the ball wide of Coleman, but the usually deadly striker steered the ball wide.

A costly miss as it turned out.

Glenavon: Coleman; Marshall, Lindsay, Murphy, McKeown; McGrory, Kilmartin (Martyn 74 mins), McCabe, Neill (Patton 76 mins); Hamilton (Rainey 86 mins); Bates. Subs: McIlveen, Gardiner

Portadown: Miskelly; Casement, Ramsey, Breen, O'Hara; McMahon, Mackle (McStay 90+2), McCaffrey, Barton (Mouncey 60 mins); Murray, Twigg. Subs: Brennan, O'Connor, Rooney

Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon).


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