Irish Premiership: Cliftonville 1-1 Glenavon

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Cliftonville and Glenavon share the spoils in Solitude encounter

Reds striker Jay Donnelly cancelled out Andrew Doyle's second-half opener as an entertaining Premiership encounter at Solitude ended in a draw.

The hosts edged affairs before Glenavon moved in front on 58 minutes with Doyle slotting into the bottom corner.

Donnelly pounced on a defensive error to slid home a leveller four minutes later and both sides squandered late chances to win it.

Third-placed Glenavon stay five points clear of Cliftonville.

Cliftonville were aiming to bounce back from Friday's 6-4 defeat at bottom team Ballinamallard - a display Reds boss Barry Gray called a "complete and utter disgrace".

His team made an energetic start and Lurgan Blues keeper Jonathan Tuffey saved two Jay Donnelly strikes while Joe Gormley blazed over.

Delight for Andrew Doyle after he puts Glenavon in front in the north Belfast game
Delight for Andrew Doyle after he puts Glenavon in front in the north Belfast game

A young Glenavon side struggled to get into the game until Brian Neeson tipped a long-range Mark Sykes free-kick over and Doyle headed off-target from the resulting corner.

The tempo, along with goalmouth incidents, increased in the second half with Reds defender Garry Breen sending a headed clearance inches over his own bar.

Doyle made the breakthrough with a fine finish, striking the ball low and with the required accuracy to find the Cliftonville net.

Glenavon's celebrations were shortlived for Caolan Marron's weak header back to Tuffey was latched onto by Donnelly and he slid the ball under the advancing keeper.

Stephen Garrett congratulates Cliftonville scorer Jay Donnelly after the striker levels for the Reds
Stephen Garrett congratulates Cliftonville scorer Jay Donnelly after the striker levels for the Reds

Tuffey produced a superb point-blank save to keep out Marron's wayward interception from a Gormley cross.

Reds substitute Rory Donnelly raced clear but the forward fell to the floor as he moved past Tuffey and was booked for diving by referee Raymond Crangle.

Mark Griffin wasted a wonderful chance with nine minutes left by lifting the ball over with just Neeson to beat.

Chris Curran drilled wide for the Reds in a frantic finale while Sykes and Griffin headed over at the other end.

Glenavon hoped to put pressure on the top two with a win but they trail leaders Crusaders by 13 points, although Gary Hamilton's team have a game in hand.