Stephen Murray claimed the match ball after a hat-trick for Glenavon (©INPHO/Brian Little)
Saturday, 06 October 2018
League leaders Glenavon came from a goal down to thump the previously undefeated Coleraine at The Showgrounds thanks in no small part to Stephen Murray's hat-trick.
Glenavon enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges with Andy Hall coming close with an inswinging corner which almost found the net at the back post while, not long after that, Andy Mitchell flicked the ball on for Murray with his subsequent effort going just wide.
However, the deadlock was broken in Coleraine's favour on 24 minutes after Darren McCauley did the hard work in delivering a cross for Aaron Burns to nod beyond the reach of Johnny Tuffey into the top corner.
Glenavon came within a whisker of levelling before the half-hour mark after Hall crossed from the left but the ball just evaded Josh Daniels and Mitchell when a touch would have turned it goalwards.
At the other end Jamie McGonigle forced a good save out of Tuffey before Glenavon stunned the Bannsiders with two goals in as many minutes to seize the lead.
With just over half-an-hour gone Mitchell delivered a free-kick which Coleraine keeper Chris Johns didn't deal with allowing Rhys Marshall to tap home at the back post.
Then, moments later, another Hall delivery was turned into the net by Murray while, not long after that, there was almost a third after Mark Sykes picked out Murray but the ball was poked just wide.
Murray did add Glenavon's third on the hour, however, when he collected the ball on the break deep inside the Coleraine half before making his way into the area to tuck the finish beyond the reach of Johns.
And eight minutes after that he completed the scoring to claim his hat-trick when he was given plenty of time and space to turn and fire into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
BBC Sport NI coverage
Coleraine: Johns, Harkin, McCauley, Lowry, McConaghie, Burns, O'Donnell, Parkhill, Traynor, McGonigle, Canning subs Doherty (not used), Mullan (replaced McConaghie 63), Douglas (not used), McLaughlin (replaced Harkin 63), Crown (not used), Gawne (replaced McGonigle 71), Owens (not used)
Glenavon: Tuffey, King, Marron, Daniels, Marshall, Mitchell, Sykes, Hall, Murray, Singleton, Doherty subs Grace (replaced Doherty 83), Donnelly (replaced Mitchell 79), Harmon (not used), Larmour (not used), McCloskey (not used), Muir (not used), Jenkins (replaced Murray 87)
Referee: Evan Boyce