Glenavon edge derby win

Joel Cooper was on the end of a rash challenge by Brendan Shannon that earned the Portadown winger a red card. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
Joel Cooper was on the end of a rash challenge by Brendan Shannon that earned the Portadown winger a red card. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.

The sight of Andy Hall on the ball must be a fine one for Glenavon’s forwards.

So often the man to provide key opportunities for his team-mates, he again provided the assist for the winner in Saturday’s Mid-Ulster derby.

It was his low cross that was converted by Kevin Braniff, or perhaps via a Portadown defender’s leg, as they slid in at the near post.

That’s his fifth assist this season, to add to the 21 he amassed last season.

Braniff’s goal (providing he does get the credit in the end) actually came just seconds after Alan Byrne had smacked the post for the Ports.

That, perhaps, sums up their predicament at present.

It was a game that hinged on a red card in first half injury time. That was for Portadown’s Brendan Shannon, who went in high on Joel Cooper. He had been on the end of a challenge from the Glenavon full-back seconds earlier, the free-kick wasn’t given as he felt it should have been and the red mist descended.

Up until then, Portadown had been well in the game. Robert Garrett worked plenty of space in midfield and twice tested Tuffey during the first half.

Hall had also been causing problems, three troublesome deliveries creating chances for Braniff, Bradley and Martyn. Braniff in particular should have found the net but he made amends after the break.

Glenavon are up to fourth and unbeaten in six Mid-Ulster derbies and Portadown remain on -6.