Glenavon 2 Linfield 3
A 93rd minute winner by super sub Darryl Fordyce sealed Glenavon’s fate after they had lost a two goal half time lead.
Ciaran Doherty put Glenavon ahead after just two-and-a-half minutes after ghosting past Alan Blayney and applying the slightest touch – but enough – to turn the ball home. Eddie McCallion deserves a lot of the credit as well for sending Doherty through with a defence-splitting through ball.
Brian McCaul, who had spent last season on loan at Mourneview Park, could have levelled the score three minutes later but shot straight at Andy Coleman.
After chances for Guy Bates it was his strike partner and manager Gary Hamilton who doubled the Lurgan side’s lead two minutes from the break after being played in by Doherty and sidefooting home from no more than three yards out.
Winkie Murphy was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch after catching the impressive Hamilton on the ankle with a cynical tackle. The striker was not so effective after that incident and neither were Glenavon as a whole.
Albert Watson pulled a goal back on 61 minutes, getting the final touch on a Niall Quinn corner.
Then, just seconds after coming on the pitch, Fordyce levelled the scored with his first touch, firing through a crowded penalty box.
And in second half stoppage time the substitute made it 3-2 when he followed up after Robbie Garrett’s shot was saved by Coleman.
GLENAVON: Coleman, Shannon, Neill, McCallion, McCallion, Kilmartin, Doherty, Bates, Brown, McCashin, Hagan, Hamilton. Subs: Haughey (Kilmartin 92), Burrows (Hamilton 75), Singleton, McGrory (Hagan 78), White.
GOALS: Doherty (2), Hamilton (43)
BOOKINGS: McCashin (84)
LINFIELD: Blayney, Gault, Murphy, Henderson, Thompson, Carville, Burns, Mulgrew, Watson, McCaul, Quinn. Subs: Armstrong (Carville 79), Curran, Fordyce (Henderson 71), Garrett (Gault 71), Ervin.
GOALS: Watson (61), Fordyce (71)
BOOKINGS: Quinn (62)
REFEREE: Andrew Davey.