A TERRIFIC late strike from Ben Doherty salvaged a deserved point for Coleraine at a wind swept Mourneview Park…
The visitors were given the perfect opportunity to take the lead on eight minutes after Jamie McGonigle was tripped inside the area by Glenavon defender Eoin Wearen. McGonigle stepped up but his low drive was kept out by Johnny Tuffey. On 15 minutes, a rasping effort from James McLaughlin whistled narrowly past the post.
Glenavon carved out their first chance on 16 minutes as Andrew Mitchell and James Singleton exchanged passes, with the latter curling an effort over the bar from 12 yards. Moments later, a terrific cut back found Mitchell inside the area but his acrobatic effort was easily held by Chris Johns.
The Stripes were playing with the wind in the first-half and Tuffey was once again called into action to keep McLaughlin’s free-kick at bay, before a neat passage of play resulted in Cormac Burke sending a shot narrowly wide.
Both sides were finding it difficult to manage the difficult conditions, but referee Keith Kennedy pointed to the spot just after the hour mark for a second time as Steven Douglas was adjudged to have fouled Stephen Murray inside the box. Coleraine protested the decision as it looked extremely soft but Sammy Clingan kept his cool to find the back of the net.
On 68 minutes, Clingan nearly added his second goal of the game after his free-kick was tipped over the bar by an alert Johns. The hosts will feel they should have secured all three points on 78 minutes as a long ball wasn’t defended by the Coleraine defence and Murray could only fire at Johns.
Bannsiders boss Rodney McAree shuffled his pack in the second-half by bringing on Eoin Bradley, Josh Carson and Jamie Glackin, with the latter coming ever so close to equalising as he fired a shot off the crossbar on 89 minutes.
However, parity was restored from the resulting period of play as Adam Mullan picked out Doherty at the edge of the area, and the former Glenavon man fired home a delightful low effort into the bottom corner for his fourth goal since joining the club in January.
There would be one further chance before the full-time whistle as Johns once again produced a superb stop to thwart Clingan from another free-kick.
GLENAVON: Tuffey, Daniels, Marshall, Mitchell (Hamilton ’87 mins), Harmon (Jenkins ’90 mins), Clingan, Murray, Singleton, Garrett, Wearen (Hall ’66 mins), Sharkey.
Subs Not Used: Taylor (GK), Hall, McCloskey, Norton, Stewart, Hamilton.
COLERAINE: Johns, Mullan, Douglas, McLaughlin (Bradley ’67 mins), O’Donnell, Parkhill (Glackin ’67 mins), McGonigle, Canning, Doherty, Burke (Carson ’64 mins), Shiels.
Subs Not Used: Doherty (GK), Crown, Edgar, Davidson.
Referee: Keith Kennedy