COLERAINE would lose for the first time this season as they were beaten 3-1 by Glenavon at The Showgrounds…
The Bannsiders would make one alteration from the midweek win at Carrick Rangers as Adam Mullan made way for Rodney Brown, with Coleraine threatening first as Rory Brown was alert to clear Evan McLaughlin’s cross from under the crossbar.
A bright start would see the hosts threaten twice as Josh Carson arrowed wide from the edge of the area before Jamie Glackin was denied by Brown after a smart link-up with Matthew Shevlin.
However, Glenavon would start to grow into the game and should have taken the lead when Peter Campbell hit a crisp effort wide from a good position, although the same player would break the deadlock on 24 minutes as he steered a strike into the bottom corner from Conor McCloskey’s lay off.
Just after Lee Lynch would send a rasping drive off target, the Stripes would be awarded a penalty after Matthew Shevlin was brought down by Brown. The ball was picked up by Shevlin who made it six goals in his last three games.
If Coleraine looked for a bright start to the second-half, they would be left deflated as Glenavon regained the lead on 47 minutes. A strike from distance by Robbie Garrett took a wicked deflection and went into the net via the help of the post.
That bit of luck gave Glenavon the ascendancy and they should have added to their tally as Matthew Fitzpatrick hit wide after a clever pass by Isaac Baird, before the same player saw an indirect free-kick deflect inches wide of the near post.
Just after the hour mark, Gary Hamilton’s side would hit a deserved third as a ball over the top of the Coleraine defence allowed Fitzpatrick to spring through on goal and the ex-Bannsider made no mistake with a clinical finish.
Kearney brought on Aaron Jarvis, Jack O’Mahony, James McLaughlin and Conor McKendry in a bid to get back into the contest and they would go close on 72 minutes when McKendry’s curling effort was saved by Brown. Two minutes later, a fantastic ball by Conor McDermott released Shevlin but he would be foiled by the Glenavon stopper.
After the Bannsiders would be denied a very big shout for a penalty, their last chance to set-up a grandstand finish would come and go as Brown denied Shevlin yet again from close range.
COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane, D. Jarvis, R. Brown (McCrudden ’83 mins), Carson (A. Jarvis ’70 mins), Farren (McKendry ’60 mins), Lynch (O’Mahony ’70 mins), Glackin, E. McLaughlin (J. McLaughlin ’60 mins), McDermott, Shevlin.
Subs Not Used: Deane (GK), O’Donnell.
GLENAVON: Brown, Glynn, Haughey, Snoddy (Doran ’83 mins), Fitzpatrick (Prendergast ’90 mins), Campbell. Baird, McCloskey, Wallace, Garrett, Ward.
Subs Not Used: Kerr, Norton, Scannell, Carey, Doyle.
Referee: Shane Andrews