Glenavon held at Mourneview by Ballymena United

It was honours even at Mourneview Park as David Jeffrey's Ballymena United held Glenavon to a score draw.

Ballymenas Johnny Taylor celebrates scoring against Glenavon
Ballymenas Johnny Taylor celebrates scoring against Glenavon

Glenavon applied all of the early pressure with Rhys Marshall firing wide as early as the third minute with a well-struck volley, after Joel Cooper had brought down a cross from Kevin Braniff.

United’s only opportunity of the opening half hour fell to David Cushley, in for the suspended Gavin Taggart, when his free kick was wide of the mark.

Mark Sykes, who was playing up top for the Lurgan Blues in place of Declan O’Brien, couldn’t connect with a Braniff header across goal, and then Sykes volleyed a throw from Marshall which was cleared off the line by Stephen McBride.

Referee Keith Kennedy waved away the hosts’ shouts for a penalty when Sykes was brought down in the box by Allan Jenkins.

But, against the run of play, it was United who took the lead when Cushley played a short corner to Tony Kane.

His cross evaded the Glenavon defence, which Johnny Taylor in the right place to tap in from six yards out.

However it was Glenavon who came out of the blocks quickest in the second half.

A Cooper corner was knocked down by Marshall and Ciaran Martyn was there to score with the final touch to equalise.

Cushley could have put United in front when his long range snapshot was saved by Jonny Tuffey, while Glenavon had a half chance through the lively Cooper when his half volley went wide of the Ballymena goal.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Dillon, Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper, Hall, Sykes, McGrory, Braniff, Martyn, Elebert. Subs: Lindsay (Hall 87), Patton (Sykes 77), Kelly, Marron, McGrath.

Ballymena United: Blayney, Kane, McBride, Taylor, Thompson, Jenkins, Cushley, Faulkner, Ervin, McVey, Frazer. Subs: Nelson, McNally, Henderson (Frazer 65), Ruddy, Hanley.

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)