Glenavon 4 Ards 1
Glenavon’s third win in a row after dominating their game against Ards keeps them in third spot in the Danske Bank Premiership.
The hosts were denied a early lead when referee Mervyn Smyth ruled out David Rainey’s second minute goal. The striker thought he had scored from a Gareth McKeown throw in but the goal was ruled out for a push on stand-in Ards goalkeeper Graeme McKibben.
From the resulting free kick the visitors attacked and won a penalty when McKeown brought down Neil Dougan around the penalty mark. Scott Davidson dispatched the resulting spot kick down the middle of the goal.
Glenavon quickly began to try and get back on level terms and were successful in doing so with a penalty of their own. Guy Bates slammed home the equaliser following a foul on Ciaran Martyn by Ards captain Andy Smyth.
And they pushed on from their to go in ahead at the interval. Rainey finally got on the scoresheet with a trademark goal, receiving the ball with his back to goal from Andy McGrory, turning on the edge of the boxing and firing the ball low into the bottom corner.
With fire in their bellies from Niall Currie’s half time team talk, Ards enjoyed a spell where they were on top at the start of the second half. They should have levelled when Scott Davidson found Ryan Moffatt. His shot was blocked by Andy Coleman, with Davidson following up and again being denied by the goalkeeper.
Later Davidson volleyed into the side netting after Mark McClelland had knocked the ball down for the winger to finish.
The hosts got over the storm and doubled their lead in bizarre circumstances. Shane McCabe got the ball to the byline and pulled it across for Bates to shoot, but his effort came back off the post. Unfortunately for McKibben it bounced back and rebounded off his head, rolled back towards goal and McGrory was presented with an empty net to finish into.
Ards’ miserable day was sealed when Andy Hunter turned a McKeown cross into his own net while he was trying to clear it.
Glenavon: Coleman, Murphy, Kilmartin, Bates, Rainey, Patton, McGrory, Marshall, McKeown, Martyn, Singleton. Subs: Neill (Singleton 80), Lindsay, Hamilton (Patton 75), Hagan, McCabe (Martyn 20).
Bookings: McCabe (36).
Goals: Bates (pen 9), Rainey (25), McGrory (71), Hunter og (75)
Ards: McKibben, Hall, K McDowell, Cully, Hunter, Smyth, Arthurs, Dougan, Moffatt, McClelland, Davidson. Subs: Roy, Henderson (Smyth 68), P McDowell (McClelland 68), McMillen (Arthurs 46).
Bookings: Smyth (9), K McDowell (74)
Goals: Davidson (3)
Referee: Mervyn Smyth.