Published Saturday, 21 September 2013
Cliftonville's Marc Smyth and Glenavon's Gary Hamilton at Mourneview Park. (© Pacemaker)
The Reds had occupied the top spot going into the game and looked the more likely to score, but proved wasteful in front of goal with Joe Gormley in particular missing a host of chances.
Tommy Breslin's side also felt they should have had a spot kick for a challenge on Liam Boyce inside the area, but the referee allowed play to continue.
The breakthrough came in the 70th minute when Conor Devlin could only parry Gareth McKeown's free kick into the path of Andy McGrory who made no mistake from close range.
Defeat for Cliftonville sees them drop below Portadown and into third place in the table after Ronnie McFall's men secured a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Crusaders at Seaview.
Eamonn McAllister opened the scoring for the hosts with a rasping effort in the 26th minute, but a bigger talking point came prior to the goal when Colin Coates put the ball into the visitors' net after Paul Heatley had been fouled, but the referee failed to allow the advantage.
Portadown fired back when Aaron Traynor's dangerous ball was flicked into the path of Gary Twigg who steered the ball into the net, and Twigg found the target again when he beat the Crues offside trap in the 80th minute.
However, the hosts salvaged a point when Declan Caddell scored the equaliser with a near post header eight minutes from time.
Elsewhere, fourth-placed Linfield continued their recent winning streak with a 2-1 victory over Ballinamallard at Ferney Park.
The Blues always looked the more likely to score and Jamie Mulgrew fired them into the lead in the 68th minute, and ten minutes later Andy Waterworth netted his fourth in two games with a delightful lob over Mallards keeper Alvin Rouse.
Andy Crawford headed a consolation two minutes from time - but Linfield were full value for what was their fourth consecutive victory.
Coleraine moved up to seventh in the table thanks to a hard-fought win over Warrenpoint Town at the Coleraine Showgrounds.
The Bannsiders went two goals up just before the break, with Gary Browne netting from four yards before Stephen Lowry whipped a curling effort past Jonathan Parr.
The 'Point battled back into the contest early in the second half, with Daniel Hughes finding the net before Liam Bagnall pounced on a loose ball to score the equaliser.
Coleraine were not to be denied though, and Browne scored the winner with a superb chip which struck the underside of the bar before crossing the line.
In the game at Stangmore Park, Dungannon were 1-0 winners over struggling Ards, with the decisive goal coming via a fine left-footed strike from Darren Boyce after good work from Fra Brennan.
Finally, Glentoran and Ballymena United played out a dour 0-0 draw at the Oval, a result which leaves the sides eighth and ninth in the table respectively.
Danske Bank Premiership Results:
Ballinamallard United 1-2 Linfield
Coleraine 3-2 Warrenpoint Town
Crusaders 2-2 Portadown
Dungannon Swifts 1-0 Ards
Glenavon 1-0 Cliftonville
Glentoran 0-0 Ballymena United
© UTV News