Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon put 'unacceptable' performance behind them as Mitchell happy to hit double figures

Glenavon 4 Ballymena United 0

By Alex Mills

Andrew Mitchell took his goal tally into double figures at Mourneview Park on Saturday - and he reckons there are more to come.

The big 23-year-old led the charge against a 10-man Ballymena United, who were down and out by half-time.

Mitchell's quickfire double - that's 10 for the season - and strikes from Bobby Burns and Andy Hall had the Sky Blues on the ropes in a frenetic opening 45 minutes.

David Jeffrey's boys contributed to their own downfall when Kyle Owens lunged into a tackle on Burns 10 minutes before the break, which left referee Arnold Hunter with little option other than to pull out a red card.

It meant the second half was purely a damage limitation exercise for the visitors and, to be fair, the 10 men stood firm.

Following the shock League Cup defeat at Ards, Mitchell insisted it was crucial the Lurgan Blues got back on track.

"We let ourselves down in midweek, with no disrespect to Ards," he said. "It was unacceptable. It was important we got back to basics and got back to our league form. We were all really up for the game."

United haven't won at Lurgan since February 2012 and, at no time did that statistic come under threat, although United goalkeeper Conor Brennan will watch the replay of the opener from behind the sofa.

Burns then capitalised on a slip by Michael Gault before Hall thumped home a 35-yard free kick that will also give Brennan nightmares.

"I'm now into double figures for the season, so I'm happy with that," added Mitchell.

Ballymena United chief David Jeffrey insisted his team were punished for making basic school boys errors.

"We talk about heart and desire, but we also talk about concentration and focus. None of those were evident in the first half," he said. "People simply didn't do their jobs.

"The four goals were preventable, without any shadow of doubt. It was madness.

"If people can't stop making mistakes, then it perhaps time to change the personnel. In the second half they all did their jobs extremely well, but the game was gone by that stage."

Glenavon: Tuffey, Burns, Kelly, Doyle (Marron, 61 mins), Marshall, Mitchell (Griffin, 64 mins), Hall, Sykes (O'Mahoney, 70 mins), Clingan, Daniels, Singleton. Unused subs: McGrory, Norton.

Ballymena: Brennan, Owens, Gault, Thompson, Friel (Faulkner, 82 mins), Braniff (McCloskey, 46 mins), Burns, Ervin, McCullough, Millar, McKinney (McCaffrey, 85 mins). Unused subs: Glendinning, Flynn.

Man of the match: Andrew Mitchell

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)

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