Sammy Clingan celebrates his stoppage time winner (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)
Saturday, 06 April 2019
Two late, late goals secured an important victory for Glenavon over fellow European hopefuls Crusaders at Mourneview Park.
The win moves Gary Hamilton's side to within a point of the Crues in the battle for second spot, and five behind Ballymena United.
Crusaders started brightly, and were denied twice in quick succession by Jonathan Tuffey with less than ten minutes gone when Philip Lowry and then Gary Thompson had efforts on goal.
Glenavon had a chance of their own on 18 minutes when Cameron Stewart laid the ball off for Robert Garrett but his rasping effor was tipped over by Gerard Doherty.
Paul Heatley might have found the net midway through the first half but could only fire straight at Tuffey after pouncing on a mix-up between Seamus Sharkey and Jamie Singleton.
But Rhys Marshall came closest to breaking the deadlock just a couple of minutes from the break when his header from Andy Hall's corner came back off the crossbar and onto the line before being cleared.
However, Crusaders broke the deadlock just a couple of minutes into the second half when Rory Hale sent a cross over for Jordan Owens to turn home with a close range header.
It was a lead the visitors looked to have held in a half of few chances until, right at the end of normal time, substitute Stephen Murray popped up with the equaliser after Hamilton had slipped the ball into his path.
There was more drama to come. With the game deep into stoppage time Hamilton delivered a corner which Rory Hale was adjudged by referee Steven Gregg to have handled and, from the resultant spot-kick, Sammy Clingan used all his experience to step up to decisively convert.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Daniels, Marshall, Clingan, Hall, Harmon, McCloskey, Singleton, Garrett, Stewart, Sharkey subs Barr (not used), Taylor (not used), Norton (not used), Murray (replaced Stewart 59), Hunter (not used), Jenkins (replaced Hall 77), Hamilton (replaced McCloskey 87)
Crusaders: G. Doherty, Burns, Ward, Lowry, K. Owens, Ruddy, J. Owens, Thompson, Heatley, Clarke, Rr. Hale subs H. Doherty (not used), McChrystal (not used), Beverland (replaced Thompson 87), Cushley (replaced J. Owens 90+1), McGinley (not used), Patterson (not used), Rn. Hale (replaced Clarke 90+1)
Referee: Steven Gregg
|Sammy Clingan||90 +4p|
|Billy Joe Burns||80|
|Jordan Owens||90 +1||47|
|Ross Clarke||90 +1|
|David Cushley||90 +1|
|Ronan Hale||90 +1|