Glenavon own goal hands Crusaders the points

Glenavon's Eoin Bradley  in action with Crusaders Colin Coates
Glenavon's Eoin Bradley in action with Crusaders Colin Coates

GLENAVON 1 CRUSADERS 2

Crusaders spoiled James Singleton’s 20th birthday party by taking home three points from their trip to Lurgan.

Singleton had equalised after Matthew Snoddy had given the Crues the lead at the start of the second half, but an own goal by the unlucky Kyle Neill handed Stephen Baxter’s men victory.

Kevin Braniff was unfortunate not to open the scoring with two great chances inside the first 10 minutes. First Joel Cooper flicked a Kyle Neill throw into the striker’s path before he curled his shot over the bar, before he hit a swerving free kick wide of the mark after being brought down by Joshua Robinson.

Andy Hall had another good opportunity for the hosts when a Braniff cross was flicked on by Cooper. The winger had his back to goal and scooped his shot over from close range, although it was a hard chance to control.

Jordan Owens headed on 29 minutes, before Jonathan Tuffey denied Paul Heatley’s well-struck volley from a Robinson cross with a low stop.

The best chance of the half came just before the interval when Billy Joe Burns found Owens on the edge of the box. His powerful drive looked like it would sneak under Tuffey, but the goalkeeper got down in time, saving by virtually sitting on the ball.

The Crues took the lead shortly after the restart. Gavin Whyte’s cross found Heatley whose shot was blocked on the line by Rhys Marshall, but Matthew Snoddy raced in to ram home the follow up.

Glenavon almost immediately responded, Cooper jinxing past a defender before Sean O’Neill saved his low drive. He then turned provider for James Singleton, but he blasted into Crescent Stand.

Singleton scored on 65 minutes when Bradley laid off Hall, whose cross was then dummied by the Derry GAA player for Singleton to tap in.

Hall forced a save out of O’Neill after he cut inside to shoot following a great surge forward by Braniff.

Crusaders’ winner came with 14 minutes left on the clock when a Michael Carvill shot was turned in by Kyle Neill while he attempted to clear the ball.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Neill, Lindsay, Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper, Bradley, Hall, Braniff, Elebert, Singleton. Subs: Patton (Neill 84), McGrory (Elebert 59), O’Brien, Hamilton (Kilmartin 86), Sykes.

CRUSADERS:O’Neill, Burns, Coates, Robinson, Forsythe, McClean, Owens, Snoddy, Heatley, Whyte, Mitchell. Subs: Stewart, Molloy, McKibben, Carvill (Whyte 64), Vauls.

REFEREE: Raymond Crangle (Belfast).