COLERAINE were forced to settle for a share of the spoils as Sammy Clingan’s penalty denied the Bannsiders all three points at Mourneview Park…
It was the home side who had the first chance as a fantastic cross from Bobby Burns found an unmarked Simon Kelly inside the penalty area. Luckily for the Bannsiders, the defender rushed his header and it went harmlessly wide.
From their first venture forward, the Stripes took the lead as Burns was flagged offside, but referee Raymond Crangle played advantage as Jamie McGonigle bore down on goal. The Northern Ireland under-21 international made no mistake as he slotted past Jonathan Tuffey after eight minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for the Lurgan Blues on 15 minutes as a lovely tackle and through ball by Josh Carson found the run of Ian Parkhill. As the winger looked destined to shoot, he was tackled by James Singleton who was the last man back and received his marching orders. From the resulting free-kick, Tuffey was called into action to keep out David Ogilby’s daisy cutter.
However, Glenavon managed to get a foothold into the game and they found their equaliser on 26 minutes as Andy Hall found the run of Mark Sykes. The midfielder made a powerful run into the box and slotted the ball home. Moments later, Hall’s free-kick went narrowly over the crossbar as Glenavon chased the lead.
Oran Kearney’s troops ended the first-half on the front foot and created two chances in as many minutes. The first arrived at the feet of Joe McCready but his tame effort was saved, before Parkhill forced Tuffey into making a smart save with a rasping drive.
The Bannsiders regained the lead on 53 minutes as Ciaron Harkin had the vision to pick out Carson at the edge of the box. The summer signing from Linfield evaded the challenge of Sammy Clingan, before rifling a well hit effort into the bottom corner for his fifth goal of the season. Five minutes later, Darren McCauley’s corner-kick found the head of McGonigle with his header drifting inches wide of the far post.
Glenavon began to enjoy a lot of possession with Andrew Mitchell forcing Johns into a save, before last ditch defending from Stephen O’Donnell prevented a certain goal for the home side. However, on 78 minutes the home side were awarded a penalty when Johns was adjudged to have fouled Hall inside the area. Former Northern Ireland international Clingan stepped-up and coolly dispatched the penalty.
Both teams went forward in search of a winner but neither side were able to claim all three points as Coleraine remain eight points clear in the Danske Bank Premiership.
GLENAVON: Tuffey, Burns, Kelly (Lindsay ’78), Doyle, Marshall, Mitchell (Griffin ’84), Hall, Sykes, Clingan, Daniels, Singleton.
Subs Not Used: McGrory, Hamilton, O’Mahoney.
COLERAINE: Johns, Mullan, Harkin, Ogilby, McCauley, Carson, O’Donnell, Parkhill, Traynor, McGonigle, McCready (Whiteside ’71).
Subs Not Used: Douglas, Smith, Kee, McConaghie.