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Glenavon show fight to net comeback victory


Kris Lindsay shows his delight after scoring

Kris Lindsay shows his delight after scoring

Kris Lindsay shows his delight after scoring

Glenavon 3 Ards 1: Glenavon inched their way closer to a top six place by beating Ards 3-1, but were made to battle every inch of the way at mud splattered Mourneview Park.

For long enough the side staring relegation in the face – a massive 10 points adrift at the bottom of the table – were more than a match for the Lurgan Blues.

In the end goals from Kris Lindsay, Guy Bates and substitute Mark Patton saw Glenavon home.

Ards were fast out of the traps and showed early intent, as the width of a post robbed Craig McMillen of a second-minute breakthrough.

He latched on to David Gibson's exquisite cross field pass and rifled a fierce volley against James McGrath's right hand post.

Glenavon were getting bogged down in the mud and it took a timely block by Rhys Marshall to deny Sean Cleary from James Knowles' free-kick.

And Glenavon heaved another mighty sigh of relief following a mix-up between skipper Kris Lindsay and goalkeeper McGrath.

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Fortunately for Gary Hamilton's men Mark McClelland was unable to cash in.

As Glenavon continued to struggle with the conditions Conor Downey saw a 25 yard rasping drive deflected for a corner.

Shane McCabe raised home hopes with a measured pass which released flying winger Andy McGrory, but his low effort was smothered by Alan Blayney.

McGrory passed up another rare opportunity on the half hour, but almost immediately and somewhat out of the blue Glenavon eased in front.

It followed a corner on the left by Brian McCaul, whose cross was headed back into his path, when he crossed for a second time Ards again failed to clear.

This time the ball fell kindly for Lindsay and the big defender swivelled in the box and sent a low drive just inside Blayney's left hand post.

The lead was short lived, just nine minutes in fact, and the equaliser was no more than Ards deserved. Cleary struck a sublime curler from 20 yards which left McGrath grasping at air.

A reinvigorated Glenavon needed just two minutes of the second half to penetrate the Ards defence for a second time.

Kyle Neill's free-kick was headed back across goal by Marshall for McCaul and while Blayney did well to keep out the midfielder's shot, Bates pounced from close range to end a three-month personal goal famine.

McCaul had a glorious chance to put the issue to bed with just over an hour gone and even though he looked to be in an offside position he was allowed to play on, but shot tamely against Blayney.

McGrory too squandered a chance at the back post two minutes from time when Lindsay headed on McCabe's free-kick.

However sub Patton eased the frustration with a cracking cross shot seconds from the end.

Glenavon: McGrath; Marshall, Lindsay, Murphy, Neill; McGrory, Martyn, McCabe, McCaul (Patton 81 mins); Bates (McCallion 93 mins), Mulvenna (Rainey 77 mins). Subs: Shannon, Kilmartin.

Ards: Blayney; Gibson, Armstrong, Cully, Rodgers; Faulkner, Downey (Davidson 76 mins), Knowles, McMillen; Cleary, McClelland (Arthurs 74 mins). Subs: Smith, McCullough, Hunter.

Referee: Tim Marshall, (Irvinestown).

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