COLERAINE and Glenavon would have to settle for a share of the spoils after an eight-goal thriller at Mourneview Park…
The Stripes made one change to their starting line-up as Curtis Allen made his 100th appearance for the club at the expense of the suspended James McLaughlin.
The visitors made a bright start and took the lead inside the opening 75 seconds as neat play involving Evan Tweed, Curtis Allen, Stephen Lowry and Jamie Glackin released Lyndon Kane on the right-hand side. The full-back’s cross found Stewart Nixon who headed home unmarked.
However, for a second successive week the Bannsiders would suffer red mist as Gareth McConaghie was dismissed for a straight red card tackle on Peter Campbell. However, despite being a man short, Coleraine would double their lead as Nixon’s through ball found Allen, and after he struck the crossbar, Ben Doherty was on hand on to fire home the rebound.
This sparked the hosts into life as James Singleton forced Gareth Deane into a superb stop but Glenavon grabbed a goal back on 24 minutes as Conor McCloskey lashed an effort into the net from just inside the box. Moments later, it was almost 2-2 as Coleraine didn’t clear their lines and ex-Bannsider Matthew Fitzpatrick failed to hit the target.
However, just after the half hour mark, there would be a fourth goal as Glenavon striker Daniel Purkis blasted home an equaliser after being picked out from Michael O’Connor’s free-kick.
The drama would continue in an absorbing first 45 minutes as Lyndon Kane went on a mazy run and burst into the Glenavon penalty area before being brought down by Sean Ward. The ball was picked up by Doherty who blasted his spot kick down the middle.
The Lurgan Blues would carve out the first opportunity of the second-half as Campbell tested the reflexes of Deane, with Doherty hitting an effort straight down the throat of Jonathan Tuffey at the other end.
On 59 minutes, Kearney’s men would go further in front as a poor back pass was seized upon by Glackin and he had the vision to pick out Doherty who slammed home his hat-trick at the second attempt for his eighth goal of the season.
However, the game would take a massive turn on 68 minutes as Glenavon were awarded a penalty as Steven Douglas brought down Daniel Larmour inside the box. The confident O’Connor would dispatch his spot kick beyond the reach of Deane to reduce the arrears.
Incredibly, ten minutes later, the Mid-Ulster side would level again as a cross wasn’t cleared by the Coleraine defence and after Deane made a great save at the back post, Fitzpatrick was on hand to steer the ball over the line despite the best efforts of Josh Carson to keep the ball out.
Glenavon were pushing for the important ninth goal of the game and they will feel they should have been awarded a penalty at the death as Lowry went to ground and tackled Conan Byrne but referee Evan Boyce waved away the protests.
GLENAVON: Tuffey, Coates, Birney (Larmour ’46 mins), Purkis (Moorhouse ’75 mins), Campbell (Byrne ’65 mins), O’Connor, Fitzpatrick, McCloskey, Singleton, Garrett, Ward.
Subs Not Used: Hall, Snoddy, O’Mahony, Rea.
COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, Carson, McConaghie, O’Donnell, Nixon (Parkhill ’86 mins), Lowry, Tweed, Doherty, Glackin, Allen (Douglas ’37 mins).
Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), Jarvis, Wilson, Traynor.
Referee: Evan Boyce