Dungannon Swifts failed to get the fillip they desired ahead of the crucial Irish Cup tie against Ballinamallard, flattering only to deceive in a 2-1 defeat away to Glenavon.
The home side enjoyed the better if the early exchanges at Mourneview Park, where two of the best chances fell to Kevin Braniff before Ciaran Martyn spurned a couplke of opening as well.
Then, for the 10th time in a row between the teams, Dungannon took the lead when Swifts captain Ryan Harpur slid a Matt Hazley cross under James McGrath after Jamie Douglas and Jamie Glackin combined in the best move of the match thus far.
But Glenavon also have a knack of scoring against Swifts and equalised when Marshall headed in a Neill corner.
The Swifts signalled their intent from the restart, hitting the post when Douglas struck from 25 yards.
However, Glenavon hit the winner on 51 minutes. Declan O’Brien chested the ball down for Braniff, who moved onto the edge of the box and curled a wonderful shot past Andy Coleman.
The former Millwall man could have added a third after some wizardry down the right wing.
The game ended on a sour note when Cameron Grieve had to be stretched off after blocking a Ciaran Caldwell shot on 90 minutes.
Swifts boss Darren Murphy felt that the better team won.
“They showed a lot more hunger and that’s what you need to do to win games in the Christmas period,” he said.
“I’m not making excuses for our boys but I thought Glenavon were well organised and they played the game at a high tempo.
“ Their senior players led by example and that then allowed their younger players to play their game.
“We got our noses in front against the the run of play. They bossed it at the back, they bossed it in midfield and they bossed it up top and that’s the bottom line” added Murphy, whose thoughts now turn to Saturday’s home tie agains The Mallards.