Nine-Man Linfield claw back draw at Glenavon
Danske Premier League
Glenavon 2, Linfield 2
Linfield had defender Matthew Clarke and goalkeeper Roy Carroll sent off inside the opening quarter yet somehow still battled back to grab a point at Mourneview Park on Saturday afternoon.
Clarke was dismissed for a challenge on Andy McGrory, while Carroll was red carded for an alleged spitting offence.
Glenavon took full advantage and went in at the break two up with goals from Paddy McCourt and Greg Moorhouse.
But battling Linfield came out for the second half with all guns blazing and pinched an unlikely point with goals from Andy Waterworth and Paul Smyth.
Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton made to changes from the team that crashed to Cliftonville last week, drafting in Andy Kilmartin and Andy McGrory for Andy Hall, who dropped to the subs’ bench and the injured Ciaran Martyn.
Healy nominated the same team that battled out a scoreless draw with table topper Crusaders the previous week.
Having dominated possession, Hamilton forfeited defender Kris Lindsay for striker Moorhouse and he was only on the pitch eight minutes when he latched on to a wonderful lofted pass from Andy Kilmartin and, with only Haughey to beat, he finished with a certain degree of panache.
That put Glenavon two goals in front after McCourt had opened his account for the Mourneview men with a cross that deceived everyone and found it’s way into the back of the net.
Glenavon looked to kill off the game with Mark Sykes clipping the top of the crossbar with a free kick after Moorhouse had been flattened by Mark Stafford.
Then after the break, McCourt took off an a dazzling solo dash before ramming in a great shot that brought out the best in Haughey, who got down brilliantly to paw clear.
Amazingly, the Blues managed to clawed their way back on 62 minutes. Jimmy Callacher floated a great ball to the back post and big Waterworth’s header exploded past Johnny Tuffey.
But the best was yet to come as little Smyth picked up a Haughey clearance before taking off on a lightning 30 yard dash. When confronted by Johnny Tuffey, the little striker drilled the ball under the goalkeeper’s body.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Kelly (Doyle 6), Lindsay (Moorhouse 28), Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper, Bradley (Braniff 66), Sykes, McGrory, McCourt, Singleton.
Unused subs: Hall, Norton.
Linfield: Carroll, Stafford, Clingan (Smyth 46), Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Millar (R Clarke 83), Ward, M Clarke, Mulgrew (Lowry 46), Gaynor 7.
Unused subs: Casement, Quinn.
Referee: T Marshall (Irvinestown).