Stephen Murray the hero as Glenavon shoot down Coleraine

Coleraine 1 Glenavon 4

Saturday, 6th October 2018, 5:51 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th October 2018, 5:59 pm
Stephen Murray celebrates his hat-trick with Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton.
Stephen Murray celebrates his hat-trick with Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton.

Glenavon brought Coleraine's long domestic unbeaten home run can to an end in emphatic style on Saturday afternoon.

The league leaders battled back from a goal down to run out winners with striker Stephen Murray bagging his second hat-trick of the season, and inflict the Bannsiders first home defeat since April 22, 2017.

It was a lively start to the game with both sides creating chances in the opening ten minutes.

On 19 minutes Andy Mitchell's free kick was only half cleared by the home defence, Andy Hall lashed the loose ball just past the far post.

A minute later Stephen Murray lost his marker as he latched on to Mitchell's flick on, but he dragged his shot across the face of goal from a tight angle.

But it was the Bannsiders who broke the deadlock with 24 minutes gone. Aaron Burns held the ball up well on the edge of the box after a long punt from Johns, he laid the ball off for McCauley, he twisted and turned before whipping as great ball into the box for Burns to head home.

Back came Glenavon as they forced a series of corners. Coleraine looked to have dealt with the danger on 28 minutes but the ball was fed back out to Hall, who swung an inviting ball into the box, which just evaded Mitchell and Murray in the six yard box.

The home side broke with McGonigle forcing Tuffey into a good save.

The visitors drew level in controversial circumstances on 31 minutes after McConaghie was punished for a foul on Mitchell when he looked to have won the ball.

From the free Johns could only parry the ball into the path of Marshall who fired home.

Within 60 seconds Glenavon were remarkably in front. Hall's excellent delivery into the box was gleefully headed home at the back post by Murray.

Tuffey was called into action again four minutes before the break as he got down well to smother McCauley's powerful drive.

At the other end Johns was out quickly to deny Mitchell after Sykes had sent him clear.

The second half continued in a similar vein with Mitchell and Harkin both going close minutes after the restart.

The Coleraine midfielder went close again on 58 minutes after McCauley had picked him out on the edge of the box, but his volley flew past the upright.

The hosts were punished further two minutes later as Mitchell flicked on for Murray to race clear, he kept composure to finish past Johns for his eighth goals in his last seven games.

And it got even better for the front man as he completed his hat-trick with a cool turn and finish from the edge of the box.

Coleraine: Johns, Harkin (McLaughlin 63), McAuley, Lowry, McConaghie (Mullan 63), Burns, O’Donnell, Parkhill, Traynor, McGonigle (Gawne 71), Canning.

Subs: Doherty, Douglas, Crown, Owens.

Glenavon: Tuffey, King, Marron, Daniels, Marshall, Mitchell (Donnelly 79), Sykes, Hall, Murray (Jenkins 87), Singleton, Doherty (Grace 83)

Subs: Harmon, Larmour, McCloskey, Muir.

Referee: Evan Boyce