Glenavon blow Institute away

Glenavon striker Stephen Murray grabbed a first half brace against Institute.
Glenavon striker Stephen Murray grabbed a first half brace against Institute.

Glenavon 3, Institute 1

Glenavon absolutely blew Institute away with a blistering first half performance, at Mourneview Park.

Fresh from their victory over champions Linfield, Gary Hamilton's side started the encounter with a spring in their step and they scored three goals and also hit the post three times, in what was a top drawer first half display, as they easily seen off a disappointing 'Stute side.

The home side made one change to their starting eleven which defeated the Blues on Friday night, with boss Hamilton deciding to drop down to the bench with Stephen Murray replacing him in the starting line-up.

As for 'Stute they made two changes to their team which drew at Ballymena United, with Jamie McIntyre and Aaron McGurk replacing Shane McNamee, who dropped to the bench and Gareth Brown, who missed out completely.

The visitors should have went in front on two minutes as Evan Tweed's pass released Joe McCready, but after getting away from his marker and with only Glenavon keeper Johnny Tuffey to beat, he dragged his close range shot wide.

Minutes later the woodwork came to 'Stute's rescue as Kyle Beggs' right wing cut-back found Rhys Marshall, but his low drive from just inside the box, which had goalkeeper Rory Brown beaten, came back off the post.

Glenavon did take the lead on six minutes after Murray seemed to push Dean Curry, but referee Lee Tavinder allowed play to continue and the striker made no mistake, firing home from the left hand edge of the box.

For the second time in a matter of minutes, the post denied the Lurgan Blues on 12 minutes as Beggs' effort, which fizzed past Brown, rattled the woodwork.

With their tails up the home side added a second on 14 minutes as some poor defending by the visitors ended with Robert Garrett's 25 yard pile driver crashing in off the crossbar, giving Brown no chance.

Glenavon's impressive first half form continued as they all but ended the game as a contest on 35 minutes as Josh Daniels' flick-on found Murray, he got in behind Conor Tourish, but his low drive was superbly kept out by Brown, the striker made no mistake with follow-up.

Incredibly Hamilton's side hit the woodwork for a third time, on 42 minutes as Murray's pass released Aaron Harmon and his strike crashed off the post.

Moments later 'Stute had their second effort on goal, this time McCready's long range strike was pushed around the right hand post by a diving Tuffey.

Sean Connor made a change at the break with McNamee coming on for Tweed, but it was the home side who had the first real chance in the second half.

A slick counter attack on 52 minutes by Glenavon caught out 'Stute, as Andrew Mitchell fed Murray and his left wing pass found an unmarked Beggs, but the winger's shot was well saved by an out-rushing Brown.

Institute's miserable night nearly got worse on the hour mark as Aaron Harmon's superb right wing cross was flicked towards his own net by Curry, but fortunately for the 'Stute skipper Brown pushed the ball around the post.

The woodwork came back into play on 68 minutes, this time it was 'Stute who were disappointed, as McNamee's stinging drive, which had Tuffey beaten, clipped the bar.

'Stute went close to pulling one back on 77 minutes but Curry and Tourish was denied by Tuffey in quick succession.

Sean Connor's men did score a consolation goal on 84 minutes as Aaron McGurk's right wing cut-back found an unmarked McIntyre, who made no mistake from 12 yards, placing the ball into Tuffey's bottom right hand corner.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Harmon, Marron, Doyle, Singleton; Beggs, Marshall, Garrett (Wearen 63), Daniels (McCloskey 79); Mitchell (Hunter 56), Murray.

Institute: Brown, Tourish, D Curry, McLaughlin; Tweed (McNamee HT), Crown (Morrow 80), McCauley, Grace, McIntyre; McGurk, McCready (Bradley 63).

Referee: Lee Tavinder