Aaron Burns (29p)
Mark Haughey (33)
Paul Smyth (44)

3

Jimmy Callacher and James Gray (Picture: Brian Little/PressEye.com)

LINFIELD MAINTAIN TITLE CHALLENGE

Linfield cruised to a comfortable defeat of Glenavon to remain a point behind at the top with just a couple of games remaining.

Linfield might have found a way through inside the opening quarter-of-an-hour only for Andrew Doyle to block Andrew Waterworth's goalbound effort before, soon after, Paul Smyth was denied when Johnny Tuffey pushed his shot wide.

The Blues moved in front on 29 minutes. James Singleton left Tuffey stranded with a poor backpass and as Waterworth moved in to pounce he was upended by the 'keeper, giving referee Steven Taylor little option but to point to the spot, from which Aaron Burns duly converted.

Mark Haughey made it 2-0 four minutes later after rising majestically to nod home a Niall Quinn right-sided cross.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, Smyth added a third with a sublime finish from Waterworth's flick.

And Waterworth might have added a fourth on the hour when he used his pace to burst into the area but Tuffey did well to save with his feet.

Glenavon almost grabbed an 85th minute consolation when James Gray connected with a corner only for Jimmy Callacher to head the ball off the line while, in the closing moments, Kirk Millar came close to extending Linfield's lead with a swerving drive that was pushed away.

Linfield: Carroll, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Lowry, Burns, Clarke, Casement, Mulgrew, Quinn, Smyth subs Stafford (replaced Haughey 51), Millar (replaced Burns 68), Ward (replaced Mulgrew 46), Gaynor (not used), Strain (not used)

Glenavon: Tuffey, Canning, Kilmartin, Cooper, Hall, Marron, Doyle, McGrory, Moorhouse, Singleton, Gray subs Patton (replaced Kilmartin 67), Bates (not used), Jenkins (replaced Moorhouse 67), Norton (replaced Hall 46), Renato (not used)

Referee: Steven Taylor

Tags:  Glenavon  Linfield