Scorer: Glenavon - Mitchell (29)

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NORTHERN IRISH Premiership outfit Glenavon travelled back over the Irish Sea with a narrow win over Stranraer, after edging what was ultimately a positive training exercise for both teams.

Along with a brand new home kit, the home side featured ten summer signings, with only seven players returning from last season's squad.

Stranraer-born goalkeeper Lyle Avci was handed his first start for the club, along with fellow newcomers David Brownlie, Andrew McDonald, Max Ashmore and Connor McManus.

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And Blues boss Stevie Farrell opted to run the rule over five trialists, four of whom started the match at a sunny Stair Park.

Perhaps most notably, Rico Quitongo - brother of Greenock Morton forward Jai, and son of Scottish football luminary José - was given a chance at left back.

But it would be a home-grown talent who captured the attention early on.

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Former Stranraer U20s standout Cameron Elliott created the first opening as he jinked his way past a couple of challenges down the right hand side and set up Ashmore, but the midfielder's curling effort from distance floated over.

Glenavon are set to contest a Europa League qualifying tie with Norwegian heavyweights Molde, having finished 3rd in the Northern Irish Premiership last season.

And that quality proved to be the difference as they created the better chances throughout.

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An early shot was deflected off target with Avci beaten, while moments later winger Josh Daniels raced clear down the left but skewed his shot wide.

New boy McDonald came to the rescue soon after with a goal line clearance from a dangerous Mark Sykes attempt.

But the visitors were rewarded for their efforts on 29 minutes.

Imposing striker Andy Mitchell was left unmarked, and stooped to head home comfortably at the near post.

The Northern Irish side continued to threaten, and only some last-ditch defending from Brownlie and McDonald limited their lead to one goal at the interval.

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Wholesale changes were made at the break with familar faces Max Currie, Chris McGowan, Kyle Turner joined by newcomers David Smith, Mark Lamont, Luke Donnelly and trialist Hasim Bakar.

Former Everton defender Adam Cummins and forward Grant Anderson would be introduced later in the half.

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After a summer of transfer speculation, Turner looked like a man with a point to prove.

The midfielder made an impact almost immediately, receiving a long ball and shrugging off some close attention from the defender to produce a fine strike which rattled the foot of the post.

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A summer signing from Queen's Park, ex Celtic man Donnelly showed impressive composure to strut his way through a series of challenges in the Glenavon box, teeing up Bakar.

Unfortunately the trialist striker could only produce a close-range save from the goalkeeper.

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That was as close as the Blues would come to a leveller, with Lamont firing a free kick over the bar in the closing stages.

Attention now turns to a Tuesday night trip to Annan for what will be the second of six pre-season fixtures.

Stranraer: Avci (Currie), Hamill (D Smith), Quitongo (McGowan), Brownlie, McDonald (Cummins), McManus, Ashmore (Anderson), Akubuine (Turner), I Smith (Donnelly), Elliott (Lamont), McArthur (Bakar).

Glenavon: Tuffey, Marshall, King, Marron, Muir, Hall, Sykes, Grace, Daniels, Donnelly, Mitchell.
Subs: Taylor, Lindsay, Clingan, Doyle, Harmon, Jenkins, Omahon, Geraghty, Norton, Burns, Larmour.

HT: 0-1
Referee: Lloyd Wilson

Photos: Stranraer FC


SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Raith Rovers 28 53
2 Falkirk 28 52
3 Airdrieonians 28 48
4 Montrose 28 47
5 East Fife 28 45
6 Dumbarton 28 38
7 Clyde 28 34
8 Peterhead 27 26
9 Forfar Athletic 28 24
10 Stranraer 27 16