Coleraine penalty miss as Glenavon share the spoils
Coleraine and Glenavon had to share the spoils in an entertaining 0-0 draw at The Showgrounds.
It may have finished scoreless but it wasn’t for the lack of trying from both sides.
Conor McKendry crashed an unstoppable effort off the underside of the bar before Kyle Beggs and Michael O’Connor responded for the visitors with efforts off the woodwork in a breathless first half.
The hosts spurned the biggest opportunity three minutes into the second half as Stephen Lowry saw his penalty saved by James Taylor after Aaron Harmon was adjudged to have brought down Matthew Shevlin.
The Bannsiders had an early let-off after a long punt forward by Taylor caused confusion in the home defence inside three minutes.
Peter Campbell latched on to the loose ball in the box and tried to head it over the advancing Gareth Deane, but the keeper managed to parry it.
Campbell reacted quickest to pick up the rebound but fired wide of the empty goal.
The hosts started to find their feet and only a smart fingertip save by Taylor denied Josh Carson a second goal in as many games with 15 minutes gone.
From the resulting corner Cathair Friel then flashed an effort inches over the bar.
Three minutes later Coleraine almost broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion as McKendry unleashed a stunning shot from the edge of the box, which cannoned off the underside of the bar and bounced out.
Friel followed up with a looping header, which Danny Wallace managed to clear off the line before the loose ball was headed over by Eoin Bradley.
It was Glenavon’s turn to hit the woodwork next as Beggs’ long-range effort beat Deane, but struck the inside of the post and away to safety.
And the forward went close again on 24 minutes after Deane flapped at a cross, Beggs launched a snapshot goalwards, but the keeper redeemed himself by pushing the effort away for a corner.
Taylor was then called into action to deal with a looping effort from Friel after the Glenavon defence ended in a muddle.
Four minutes before the break Gary Hamilton’s men hit the woodwork again, this time O’Connor curled a delicious free-kick on to the post with Deane beaten.
The chances continued to come after the break as Coleraine were awarded a penalty on 48 minutes after Harmon got in a tussle with Shevlin in the box.
Lowry stepped up but saw his spot-kick pushed away by Taylor.
Stafford then produced some heroic defending to head Friel’s acrobatic effort off the line as Coleraine tried to turn the screw.
The home side thought they had taken the lead with 20 minutes to go when Shevlin fired in from Bradley’s square ball, but it was chalked off for a foul in the build-up.
More good build-up soon after saw Bradley tee up McKendry, but he dragged his effort wide of the far post.
McKendry turned provider for Shevlin with six minutes to go but Taylor got down well to smother his effort.
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