IRISH LEAGUE: Six-goal thriller at Mourneview Park as Glenavon held by Warrenpoint Town

Glenavon's Andrew Doyle celebrates scoring their first goal
Glenavon's Andrew Doyle celebrates scoring their first goal

Linfield-bound Joel Cooper stepped off the substitutes’ bench and into the spotlight to score and provide an assist for Glenavon - but spark anger from his own fans with a bizarre celebration.

The winger this week confirmed a pre-contract agreement to join Linfield in the summer but it is understood the clubs may be working on a potential January switch.

Cooper joined play as a second-half substitute in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Warrenpoint Town and fired home an equaliser then raced to a section of the home support, pointing to his lips with his finger before also gesturing to the Mourneview Park pitch, apparant evidence of his reaction to any post-deal criticism.

He then played a part in Glenavon taking the lead with a teasing cross which Mark Sykes met on a sidefoot volley that bounced off the post - with Stephen Murray firing home against his former club.

That left Glenavon in a 3-2 lead but Warrenpoint had livewire teenager Lorcan Forde at the heart of the visitors’ positive play as his evening ended with a goal and two assists.

Andrew Doyle’s evening started out as a sub and ended with a spot on the scoresheet as the centre-back was drafted in following injury to Simon Kelly during the warm-up. Doyle celebrated by heading home the opening goal off Bobby Burns’ corner-kick delivery after Jonathan Parr’s close-range save to deny James Singleton.

Warrenpoint gained a boost with a first-half injury-time equaliser as Alan Davidson’s shot was stopped by Tuffey but Forde forced home the rebound.

The second half sparked into life with four goals in 11 minutes as brilliant skill by Forde on the left ended with a curling cross that deflected into the path of Conor McMenamin and he converted his second in as many games.

Cooper then blasted in a superb left-foot drive that took full advantage of time and space afforded to the player by the Warrenpoint backline.

The frantic pace continued with Murray on hand to send Glenavon back on top. However, a rare miscue by Jonny Tuffey allowed Forde to pick up the miskick and feed Davidson for a well-earned equaliser.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Burns (Cooper, 51), Marron, Doyle, Marshall, Mitchell (Griffin, 85), Hall (McGrory, 71), Sykes, Clingan, Murray, Singleton.

Subs (not used): Lindsay, Norton.

WARRENPOINT TOWN: Parr, O’Hara (Wallace, 70), Moan, Reilly, Dane, Mackle (Foster, 73), M.Murray, McMenamin (Roohi, 94), Forde, Davidson, TJ.Murray.

Subs (not used): McGrandles, Turker.

Referee: R.Hetherington.