Jonathan Tuffey saves Ciaron Harkin's penalty (©INPHO/Lorcan Doherty)
Saturday, 10 February 2018
Coleraine were held at home by Glenavon as their title ambitions took a knock in challenging conditions at The Showgrounds.
The Bannsiders raced out of the blocks, almost taking the lead in the opening minute when Jamie McGonigle backheeled the ball for Eoin Bradley but he could only fire straight at Johnny Tuffey from point blank range.
Then, moments later, Gareth McConaghie was found by a Josh Carson cross but he couldn't find a way to direct the goal into the net.
At the other end, Glenavon created openings through Mark Sykes and Stephen Murray but neither were able to beat Johns.
And the Coleraine 'keeper was called into action again to save well from a Sammy Clingan free-kick later in the half.
Oran Kearney's side squandered a golden opportunity three minutes from the break. McGonigle was brought down by Caolan Marron inside the area but, from the penalty that followed, Ciaron Harkin could only look on as his right-foot effort was saved by Tuffey.
Glenavon moved in front on 52 minutes when Bobby Burns' corner was headed down towards goal by Rhys Marshall before Andy Hall got the final touch to see it over the line.
However, Coleraine levelled on the hour courtesy of Glenavon old boy Eoin Bradley whose curling free-kick - awarded for a foul on Carson - ended up in the top corner beyond Tuffey's reach.
The visitors had big chance to regain the advantage on 78 minutes after a Murray chip reached Mark Griffin but he could only head over.
Played switched to the other end with Darren McCauley rattled the Glenavon crossbar with a fantastic effort from fully 25 yards.
Glenavon ended the game with ten men - but ultimately a point - after Sykes received a straight red card following a tackle on Bradley.
Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Harkin, McCauley, Smith, Bradley, Carson, McConaghie, O'Donnell, Traynor, McGonigle subs Mullan (not used), Douglas (not used), Ogilby (not used), Parkhill (replaced Carson 89), Doherty (not used)
Glenavon: Tuffey, Burns, Marshall, Mitchell, Hall, Sykes, Marron, Clingan, Cooper, Murray, Singleton subs Doyle (replaced Singleton 77), E. Foley (not used), Griffin (replaced Hall 71), McGrory (not used), Norton (replaced Mitchell 87)
Referee: Ian McNabb