Kym Nelson and Aaron Harmon contest possession (©INPHO/Brian Little)
Tuesday, 25 September 2018
An early Stephen Murray penalty and a second half strike from Andrew Mitchell helped Glenavon to victory over Ards and into top spot in the Danske Bank Premiership.
Glenavon might have gone ahead during the opening exchanges when Murray latched onto a Caolan Marron header, sending it towards the back for the onrushing Mitchell only for the ball to narrowly go wide.
But the visiting fans only had to wait until the tenth minute to cheer the opening goal when Murray smashed a spot-kick past Sam Johnston into the bottom left corner awarded after Josh Kelly was adjudged to have fouled Josh Daniels.
Ards might have levelled soon after only for Ryan Strain to fire past Johnny Tuffey's near post but, apart from two later half chances, from Mark Sykes and Aaron Harmon it was a half that produced little other goalmouth action.
After the break Glenavon went in pursuit of that second goal, coming close either side of the hour when first Mitchell and then Daniels sent efforts just outside the target.
However, with just over a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, Mitchell did make it 2-0 with a lovely finish from the edge of the box after taking the ball past defender Jonny Taylor.
And they could have extended their lead towards the end when first Murray was denied by Johnston one-on-one before Daniels saw a certain goal cleared off the line.
BBC Sport NI coverage
Ards: Johnston, Kerr, Byers, Taylor, M. Kelly, D. McAllister, J. Kelly, Mitchell, McClean, Nelson, Strain subs Mooney (not used), Cherry (not used), McLellan (replaced Kelly 69), Tommons (not used), McAleenan (not used), McArthur (replaced D. McAllister 62), Boyd (not used)
Glenavon: Tuffey, Marron, Daniels, Marshall, Mitchell, Sykes, Hall, Harmon, Murray, Singleton, Doherty subs Grace (replaced Harmon 77), Donnelly (not used), Larmour (not used), McCloskey (replaced Sykes 79), Muir (replaced Hall 73), Lindsay (not used), Jenkins (not used)
Referee: Lee Tavinder