Irish Premiership: Glenavon 3-3 Cliftonville

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Glenavon 3-3 Cliftonville

Eoin Bradley scored a hat-trick as Glenavon overcame a two-goal deficit to secure a 3-3 draw with Cliftonville.

James Knowles gave the Reds the lead, Bradley equalised with a header, but McGovern's goal eight minutes before half-time nudged the Reds in front.

Knowles grabbed his second but Bradley then rifled into the top corner on 78.

Bradley fired in his third past Conor Devlin three minutes later and the Reds move into second in the table, now eight points behind leaders Crusaders.

Glenavon went into the game with confidence, having taken 10 points from a possible 12 prior to this encounter, conceding just one goal in the process.

The Reds had won one and drawn three of their last five Premiership outings.

Early chances before Knowles opener

Both sides created early chances, with Simon Kelly, Daniel Kearns and Andy Hall going close for the Lurgan Blues and Stephen Garrett passing up an opportunity for the visitors.

Midfielder Knowles broke the deadlock midway through the first half, sidefooting low past Jonathan Tuffey after Chris Curran had threaded the ball through to his team-mate.

Bradley headed in from five yards out after meeting a Hall cross in the 33rd minute but McGovern replied four minutes later with a strike from the edge of the box which took a deflection off Kelly.

Knowles's second of the game on 52 looked to have put Gerard Lyttle's side in control but Bradley's shot from inside the area offered his side hope of a share of the spoils.

Joel Cooper provided the assist for Bradley, who has signed a new two-year contract with the Mourneview Park club, to complete his treble.

What they said

Glenavon assistant manager Paul Millar: "I think one of the biggest qualities our team has is they never say die. I thought we played really well.

"We kept going and going and were superb all over the pitch. It was a great advertisement for Irish League football."

Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle: "It was much the same story as our last few games. We managed to get in front but were not able to hang onto our lead.

"To leak two late goals the way we did was really disappointing. We had a chat about it in the dressing room afterwards and it can't keep happening.

"We were solid in defence in the first half but we hit the panic button in the last 10 minutes. Defensively we weren't good enough."

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