Rhys Marshall levelled for Glenavon towards the end of the first half (©INPHO/Matt Mackey
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Glenavon came from a goal down to defeat Norwegian visitors FK Molde in the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round at Mourneview Park.
Managed by Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Molde got off to a bright start with Eirik Hestad sending the ball just the wrong side of the near post early on while Erling Håland also went close.
At the other end Josh Daniels and Stephen Donnelly created an opening for Stephen Murray.
The deadlock was broken on 36 minutes when Hestad swept the ball beyond Johnny Tuffey from inside the area after a Kristoffer Haugen delivery fell into his path.
However, Glenavon responded just moments later when Andy Hall's corner was flicked home by Rhys Marshall who rose highest to nod it past keeper Andreas Linde.
After the break Fredrik Aursnes was presented with an opportunity to restore Molde's lead only for his near post effort to be gathered by Tuffey at the second attempt.
The visitors enjoyed periods of possession but were made to pay for their failings in front of goal just before the hour. Marshall collected the ball deep in his own half, and proceeded to launch a counter attack which ended with Daniels showing great composure to slip the ball below Linde from the edge of the six yard box.
And moments after that Murray was presented with an opportunity to extend Glenavon's lead when he found himself through on goal but his final effort lacked the power to get past Linde.
Molde should have levelled five minutes from time when Andrew Doyle was adjudged to have upended Nigerian substitute Daniel Chima inside the area but, from the resultant penalty, Aursnes could only drag the ball wide of the left post.
An historic victory for the Lurgan Blues, and a result which gives them a fighting chance of progressing going into the return leg next Thursday (19th).
Referee: Mads-Kristoffer Kristoffersen
|Josh Daniels||90 +5||59|
|Stephen Murray||90 +2|
|Dylan King||90 +2|
|Jordan Jenkins||90 +5|