The difference in standard between these two sides was not as great as the margin of victory achieved by the Lurgan side who play in the Northern Ireland Premiership might suggest. They were well worthy of progressing to round 4 of the rather splendidly named Tunnock's Carmel Wafer Challenge Cup but a spirited United side who were unable to capitalise on the chances they did make, made the team from Neil Lennon's home town work gie hard for the privelige. The main difference was that the Glenavon side who were very well drilled at the back were just a tad sharper in midfield than their hosts and as the game progressed used this as a basis for having slightly more of the ball, more often and in more threatening positions. United made few significant errors in any department and were twice denied by the woodwork.
The game started in typical cup tie fashion with play and players moving from end to end at breakneck speed. An opening flurry by Glenavon spearheaded by Daniels who got on the end of a Mitchell cross from the right tried to bang the ball through a clump of defenders only for it to rebound past him on the left. Seconds later he was at it again and his deflected effort was comfortably taken by Main. At the other end came a United break when Lisle played in Wood from the right and the big striker neatly back-heeled the ball to Rodger advancing on his left. The shot was quickly taken, and hard with it, but just nicked past Tuffey's left stick. This pattern persisted but in the midfield phases, Glenavon ever so slightly got a tad more of the ball. Despite that United imposed just as much goalmouth pressure on their opponents as they were subjected to and Wood, Lisle and Rodger all had efforts close to or on target. A Clark header from a corner on the left had power behind it but Tuffey took it comfortably.
In the 13th minute a Glenavon free kick not far from the left corner set up what seemed a well-rehearsed training ground move. The ball was clipped in by Burns, dipping just in front of the near post. DANIELS knew it was going there but United weren't in on the secret and the foxy wee forward was onto it in a flash to nick the ball into the net.
United battled on and although they had their share of territory and possession Doyle was pulling so many strings for the visitors that they had overall the upper hand a situation that persisted by and large for the rest of the game. However the best chance over the remainder of the first half was after Lisle fed McGowan across the 18 yard line and the ensuing shot carefully weighted and measured too just enough of a deflection to rebound from the crossbar.
The second half continued in the same way and after an excellent Formartine move in the 70th minute involving Mackintosh, Rodger and Lisle who set up Wood, for a shot that was scrambled away. Glenavon broke back up the pitch: Dyle saw the chance, played in Harmon on the overlap. The right back swung the ball over for to meet the run of MARSHALL who headed home for the second.
The third in the 84th minute was a tad dubious. On the back of a wave of United pressure Glenavon piled forward through the middle and a long range strike by McCLOSKEY rebounded off the underside of the bar, and stotted up before being grabbed by keeper Main. The stand side linesman decreed that the ball had crossed the line, the ref believed him and that was it. No way back for United from that but they were in relatively exalted company and acquitted themselves well.
Formartine United: Main, Mackintosh, Lawrence, S.Anderson, McKeown, Clark, Rodger, Strachan, Wood, McGowan (Gethins 66), Lisle. Subs: Smith, Lawson, Leyden, Gethins, Watson.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Harvey, Doyle, Singleton, Burns, Hall, Marshall, Garrett, Daniels, O'Mahony [73 McCloskey) (81 Hamilton), Mitchell. Subs: Taylor, McCloskey, Neill, Hamilton, Beggs, Jenkins, Jamieson.