Glenavon grind out win over new boys Newry
Glenavon made it two wins on the bounce with a hard-fought victory over newly-promoted Newry City at The Showgrounds.
A penalty from Gary Muir and Steo Donnelly’s strike saw the away side go two in front, but Stephen Teggart pull one back before half-time. Despite having plenty of chances, City just couldn’t find the leveller.
The visitors took the lead just shy of the midway point in the first half.
Andrew Mitchell’s through ball to Sykes saw Coleman hesitate coming off his line. That allowed Sykes to get to the ball first and although contact between the players looked minimal, it was enough for the Glenavon midfielder to go down and Referee Tim Marshall pointed to the spot.
Gary Muir, a late replacement at the back for Andrew Doyle who pulled up in the warm-up, sent Coleman the wrong way from the resultant penalty top make it 1-0.
Less than a minute later, it could have been two when the impressive Sykes saw his shot well beaten out by Coleman at his near post.
However, the away side did double their lead four minutes after the half hour. A hooked ball down the right hand channel by Sykes saw Steo Donnelly raced towards it.
With the City defence caught on their heels, the striker got to the ball ahead of the advancing Coleman to poke his effort into the unguarded net and make it 2-0.
But Newry gave themselves a lifeline just a minute before the interval with a classic counter-attack goal.
Delaney did well on the edge of his own box before finding Mark Hughes on the left.
The City captain advanced from his own half before sliding the ball through to Teggart and the youngster beat Tuffey at his near post with his left for his first goal in City colours.
Newry should have drawn level midway through the second half when Dara Noonan headed across goal but the chance went begging.
Newry City AFC: Coleman, King, Noonan, Boyle, McCann, Carville (Walker 88), McCabe (Lavery 56), S Hughes, M Hughes, Delaney (McArdle 64), Teggart. Subs not used: Maguire, McCaul, Johnston, Montgomery.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Marron, Muir, Grace (Harmon H-T), Daniels, Marshall, Mitchell, Sykes, Hall (McCloskey 56,), Donnelly (Jenkins 76), Singleton. Subs not used: King, Clingan, Lindsay, Murray