IRISH CUP: Mitchell and Murray combine to sink Dungannon Swifts and send Glenavon marching on

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton. Pic by INPHO.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton. Pic by INPHO.
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Andrew Mitchell found the net against his former club as Glenavon offered a glimpse of the club’s bright attacking future in a well-earned 3-0 win over Dungannon Swifts.

Mitchell kicked off the Tennent’s Irish Cup scoring in the sixth-round derby date and formed a promising partnership with strike partner Stephen Murray as the latter doubled the lead ahead of Marc Griffin’s late third.

Dungannon Swifts manager Rodney McAree. Pic by INPHO.

Dungannon Swifts manager Rodney McAree. Pic by INPHO.

Mitchell displayed clever control and a composed finish inside the box to cap a teasing cross by the tireless Murray on 44 minutes.

The Swifts finished with 10 men as Mark Patton’s return to Mourneview Park was cut short on 54 minutes for a straight red card following his challenge on former Glenavon team-mate James Singleton.

Murray made it 2-0 against 10 men as Mark Sykes won back possession and sparked a swift Glenavon break which ended with the striker drilling home a shot via a deflection off the diving Chris Hegarty.

It was 3-0 in the closing stage off Griffin to cement Glenavon’s control and a spot in the quarter-finals.

Stuart Addis produced a string of first-half saves to restrict Glenavon’s reward for some slick attacking play.

His highlight - within numerous smart stops by the Swifts number one - arrived with a dive to the left to push out Sammy Clingan’s penalty attempt after a foul on Sykes by Douglas Wilson.

Glenavon enjoyed early success from balls over the top to put the Swifts on the backfoot and one Mitchell lob dropped just wide.

Mitchell then had the ball in the net but the offside flag left the striker frustrated.

Joel Cooper’s teasing cross also found Mitchell in time and space but his drive was pushed away by Addis’ strong hands.

Glenavon then suffered frustration twice in quick succession as Murray’s effort was blocked then Addis dropped low to deny Mitchell.

Andy Hall’s corner-kick was then smashed towards the target from inside the crowded penalty area by Murray but, once again, Addis was on hand.

And a late stop by Addis prevented Glenavon from entering the interval on top by two goals as Bobby Burns’ free-kick from deep was attacked by both Singleton and Seanan Clucas and diverted towards the target.

Andrew Doyle’s absence due to a back injury forced Glenavon into a defensive reshuffle that moved Singleton into the centre of the defence and Burns dropping to left-back but the Swifts struggled to place the revamped backline under pressure.

One penalty shout by the visitors was waved away as January signing Daniel Hughes felt he had been fouled in the penalty area following clever passing from Wilson, Cormac Burke and Grant Hutchinson.

A Wilson snapshot on the volley offered Jonny Tuffey a comfortable save before the break.

The Swifts proved more competitive across the early exchanges of the second half but Glenavon carved out a great opening when Cooper attacked at pace then slipped a pass to Mitchell on the left-hand edge of the box.

His drilled cross across the face of goal proved just behind the diving Murray.

However, Murray grabbed the goal deserving of his overall contribution when, on 68 minutes, Glenavon took full advantage of the numerical advantage to double the lead.

Substitute Griffin added to the Glenavon gap with a close-range finish just six minutes after stepping off the sidelines. The striker was on hand to slot home after Addis got his glove to Cooper’s low drive.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Burns, Cooper, Murray (Griffin, 85), Marshall, Mitchell, Hall (Foley, 85), Sykes, Clingan (McGrory, 85), Marron, Singleton.

SUBS (NOT USED): Taylor, McCavitt, Hamilton, Lindsay.

DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Addis, Hegarty, Wilson (Coyle, 68), O’Rourke, Mayse, Patton, Clucas, Hutchinson (Fitzpatrick, 30), Lowe, Hughes, Burke (McElroy, 55).

SUBS (NOT USED)(: Armstrong, Harpur, Coleman, Teggart.

Referee: Arnold Hunter.