Joel Cooper strike seals points for Glenavon against Ballinamallard United

Glenavon go on the attack at Ferney Park
Glenavon go on the attack at Ferney Park

A cracking low strike by Joel Cooper three minutes into the second half gave Glenavon all three points at Ferney Park on Wednesday night.

The dangerous Cooper was set on his way with a lovely touch from Kevin Braniff and as he cut inside past two players he unleashed a great effort which skimmed past Ballinamallard goalkeeper Alviin Rouse.

Tyhe spirited win keeps the Lurgan Blues in fifth spot in the Danske Bank Premiership table – but just one point adrift of fourth-placed Coleraine.

In the first half Glenavon created a handful of decent chances.

The first fell to Braniff after just 11 minutes when he turned on a ball 12 yards out, but keeper Rouse made a good save.

It was Rouse again to react superbly to Andy Kilmartin’s effort to push the ball away for a corner.

Glenavon had strong appeals for a goal turned down when a corner was headed goalwards by Eoin Bradley, but the ball was cleared by Menamin on the goalline.

The only real chance the home side had was Johnny Courtney’s long distance shot from 25 yards which had keeper Jonny Tuffey scrambling at the base of the post.

The mid Ulster side got the start they wanted in the second half when Braniff created good space on the left to set Cooper away for a great goal.

Glenavon’s assistant manager Brian McLaughlin said after the game: “We’re content if we don’t concede and score every week.

“We’re a team that attacks and does score goals. We’re delighted to come here and win a hard game. Both teams gave everything and it was nice to keep a clean sheet here.”

Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson admitted his side were beaten by a better team on the night.

“We struggled to create chances in the first half and did a little better in the second,” he said .

Ballinamallard: Rouse, McMenamin, McLoughlin, Feeney (Campbell72), Martin, McCartney, Beacom, Lecky, McCrudden, Friars, Courtney (58)

Subs not used: McCusker, Carters, Lafferty, Phair.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Dillon, Lindsay, Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper (Neill 85), Bradley, McGrory, Buckley, Braniff (Hamilton 88), Singleton

Subs not used: Kelly, Patton, Burns

Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)