Daniel Kearns celebrates grabbing Linfield's winner after half-an-hour (@INPHO/Brian Little)
Saturday, 04 August 2018
Linfield edged all three points from this visit to Mourneview Park as Glenavon came to rue a missed penalty early in the game.
Gary Hamilton's side were handed a gilt-edged opportunity to open the scoring as early as the sixth minute. An Andy Hall free-kick into the area was turned towards goal by Stephen Murray but referee Ian McNabb adjudged that Chris Casement had intentionally handled the ball, booking the Linfield man in the process.
However, from the spot-kick that followed, Andy Mitchell failed to convert, sending the ball too high over Roy Carroll's goal.
The visitors thought they had broken the deadlock on 25 minutes when Jimmy Callacher found the net with a header from Niall Quinn's free-kick only for the 'goal' to be disallowed offside.
What proved to be the only goal arrived on the half-hour mark. A Kirk Millar set piece from the left wasn't properly cleared by the home defence, the ball eventually falling for Daniel Kearns to mark his Linfield debut with a goal.
Glenavon might have levelled before the break but Mark Sykes could only look on as Carroll did well to deny him with a low save at point blank range.
Andrew Waterworth came within a whisker of doubling Linfield's lead early in the second but was thwarted by a goalline clearance from Caolan Marron.
Sykes came close again just after the hour with a lob into the side netting before Carroll denied him again with a strong save.
Indeed, Glenavon can count themselves unfortunate not to salvage a point when first Andrew Doyle and then Jordan Jenkins came close in the closing minutes.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Marron, Doyle, Grace, Daniels, Mitchell, Sykes, Hall, Muir, Murray, Singleton subs Taylor (not used), King (not used), Donnelly (replaced Hall 66), Harmon (not used), O'Mahony, Norton (replaced Grace 72), Jenkins (replaced Mitchell 76)
Linfield: Carroll, Robinson, Callacher, Waterworth, Cooper, Millar, Clarke, Kearns, Mitchell, Quinn, CasementDeane (not used), Nielsen (not used), O'Connor (replaced Waterworth 72), Stewart (replaced Cooper 80), Fallon (not used), Smith (not used), McGuinness (not used)
Referee: Ian McNabb
|Michael O'Connor||90 +3||72|
|Jordan Stewart||90 +5||80|