Irish Premiership: Conor McCloskey gives Glenavon a last-gasp away win over 10-man Crusaders

Conor McCloskey
McCloskey's late strike gave Glenavon all three points

A superb Conor McCloskey strike in the 90th minute gave Glenavon a last-gasp 1-0 win over 10-man Crusaders in a low-key match at Seaview.

Crues centre-half Aidan Wilson was sent off at the start of the second half after being shown a second yellow card for a tackle on Daniel Purkis.

Chris Hegarty came close to equalising for the hosts but his injury-time header was well saved by Craig Hyland.

The win continues an excellent run of form for Gary Hamilton's men.

Their third successive away victory takes them level on points with sixth-placed Glentoran, but Crusaders drop a place down to fifth with Cliftonville moving ahead of them into fourth.

McCloskey's goal came when he picked the ball up on the left wing and skilfully cut inside Jordan Forsythe before curling a beautiful long-range shot beyond Jonny Tuffey and just inside the post.

An uninspiring match in which both sides struggled to show their quality looked like it was heading for a scoreless draw, with the visitors looking unlikely to make their numerical advantage count.

Wilson had picked up a first-half booking for a challenge on Matthew Fitzpatrick when he fouled Daniel Purkis at the start of the second half and was shown his second yellow card.

Both sides had good chances to score in the opening 15 minutes of a lacklustre first half in which the aerial dual between former Crusaders captain Colin Coates and current forward Jordan Owens was one of the few talking points.

The lively Paul Heatley ran on to an Owens flick-on for the hosts and was going through on goal before Glenavon defender Shane Doyle raced back to make a superb tackle and thwart the danger.

Two minutes later Lurgan Blues forward Purkis found space in the box but mis-kicked his shot and wasted the opportunity, and there was little goalmouth action after that until Heatley forced a save from Hyland on the stroke of half time.

The defeat means Crusaders have won just twice in their last nine outings.

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