Andy McGrory celebrates one of his two goals (Picture: Kevin Scott/PressEye.com)
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
Cliftonville's long grip on the Northern Ireland League Cup was finally loosened as Glenavon booked a semi-final place at their expense at Mourneview Park.
Mark Sykes created an early chance for Glenavon when, on five minutes, he curled the ball wide after pouncing on a poor Peter Burke clearance while a later Kevin Braniff free-kick was deflected over.
Glenavon had another chance when Rhys Marshall teamed up with Sykes and Braniff to release Greg Moorhouse but he was unable to close the opportunity down.
For Cliftonville James Knowles sent the ball goalbound just before the half-hour mark but Marshall was on hand to deflect the danger wide.
Andy Hall then almost scored direct from a corner but Burke was alert to force the ball over the bar while his opposite number, James Taylor, reacted quickly to snuff out a moment of danger from David McDaid.
Then, moments from the break, Marshall headed wide from eight yards after Mark Patton had supplied the corner.
The deadlock was finally broken on 57 minutes when Moorhouse bore down on goal before curling an effort wide of Burke into the bottom corner.
However, Cliftonville levelled on 69 minutes after a Ruairi Harkin run and cross from the left ended up with McDaid with his shot taking a deflection off Kris Lindsay before creeping over the line.
Glenavon had three match winning chances at the end of normal time when Marshall, Declan O'Brien and Hall all saw efforts saved, cleared off the line or sent wide.
And they did regain the lead six minutes into extra-time after Guy Bates laid the ball off for Andy McGrory to send the ball beyond Burke's reach into the net.
Gary Hamilton's side went further ahead five minutes after that after Burke brought down O'Brien as he attempted to take the ball round him inside the area - and from the subsequent spot-kick McGrory confidently sent the 'keeper the wrong way.
Cliftonville did pull one back in the 120th minute when Stephen Garrett prodded the ball over the line after a Jason McGuinness header had been parried by Taylor.
Glenavon: Taylor, Lindsay, Marshall, Hall, Patton, Sykes, Marron, McGrory, Moorhouse, Braniff, Singleton subs Tuffey (not used), Kelly (not used), Doyle (replaced Moorhouse 63), O'Brien (replaced Patton 73), Bates (replaced Braniff 76)
Cliftonville: Burke, McGovern, Ives, McGuinness, Curran, Knowles, McDaid, M. Donnelly, Catney, Winchester, Cosgrove subs Bonner (not used), Garrett (replaced Curran 63), Harkin (replaced Winchester 56), Lavery (not used), A. Mooney (replaced Knowles 73)
Referee: Steven Taylor