Roy Carroll (GK), Chris Casement, Jimmy Callacher, Josh Robinson, Niall Quinn, Kirk Millar, Jamie Mulgrew ©, Stephen Fallon, Jordan Stewart (Daniel Kearns 61’), Joel Cooper, Andy Waterworth (Michael O’Connor 61’)
Jonathan Tuffey (GK), Rhys Marshall (Aaron Harmon 89’), Dylan King, Caolan Marron, James Singleton, Andy Hall, Sammy Clingan, Mark Sykes, Ben Doherty, Andrew Mitchell, Conor McCloskey (Stephen Murray 32’ – Jordan Jenkins 88’)
LINFIELD and Glenavon played out a stalemate draw at Windsor Park this afternoon and both teams will look back to rue missed opportunities and near misses.
The first half was a case of missed chances and after a slow start, Linfield ended the half strongly but had no reward for their persistence as Jimmy Callacher and Stephen Fallon both had efforts deflected just over the crossbar.
Linfield’s first chance came early on when Jamie Mulgrew drove forward with intent, travelling a long distance before having a pop from the edge of the box, but his strike flew over Jonathan Tuffey’s crossbar.
Jordan Stewart and Niall Quinn also combined to good effect before Quinn floated a delightful pass into Joel Cooper, who tried an audacious lob, but it was comfortable for Tuffey to gather. Glenavon also passed up a chance midway through the first half when Andrew Mitchell nipped in on a defensive mix-up from Linfield, but the Glenavon striker could only blaze over from the edge of the box.
Gary Hamilton’s men went even closer when Andy Hall’s corner wasn’t dealt with by Roy Carroll and the ball rebounded off the post, much to the goalkeeper’s relief.
Linfield thought they had an opener on 35 minutes when Andy Waterworth tucked the ball away after Jordan Stewart’s driven shot was spilled by Tuffey, however, Waterworth was adjudged to have been offside when Stewart struck his shot.
Glenavon’s Ben Doherty had a fierce strike from distance beaten away by Roy Carroll, while another lapse at the back saw Glenavon strike the woodwork ten minutes before the break with a shot that troubled Carroll.
Half Time: Linfield 0 – 0 Glenavon
The woodwork denied Glenavon for a third time just 40 seconds into the second half when Andrew Mitchell turned in the box and thundered a strike back off the upright. Then, moments later, the striker went close again as he shrugged off Josh Robinson before firing a low strike at goal, but Carroll had the answer.
Stephen Murray passed up another chance for Glenavon after 72 minutes when he raced through on goal after beating Josh Robinson in a footrace, but his weak effort was blocked by the legs of Roy Carroll.
The Blues looked like making a long-awaited breakthrough ten minutes from time, but it wasn’t forthcoming as Glenavon defender James Singleton made a vital goal line clearance to keep out Michael O’Connor’s deflected strike.
Ironically, a Linfield man did the same at the other end on 83 minutes. Glenavon defender Caolan Marron got a powerful head on Andy Hall’s corner and just as it looked to be heading in, Stephen Fallon miraculously cleared off the line.
In the closing stages, Jamie Mulgrew slipped in Daniel Kearns on his return from injury but his shot from the angle was well beaten away by Tuffey. Kearns also mustered up a good chance by pulling the ball back to Fallon, but he fired just wide.
Full Time: Linfield 0 – 0 Glenavon
LinfieldFC.com Man of the Match: Joel Cooper