Harland and Wolff Welders will be out to repeat last year’s feat and knock Glenavon out of the Irish Cup. The sides met at the 6th Round stage last February and the Championship 1 side emerged worthy 2-0 winners on their home patch.
Glenavon, the holders at the time, had already had a warning in the previous round when they had to come from 2-0 down to defeat Moyola Park. It took a last-minute Eoin Bradley goal to avoid that game going to extra time after Kevin Braniff had scored and had a header deflected in off a defender to equalise, dragging Gary Hamilton’s side back from the brink.
The Glenavon boss knows that his team must match the work rate and effort of the Welders and win the individual battles if his side’s quality is to see them through to the next round. “Hopefully we’ve learned our lesson from last season. Our lads have to prove it in games like this. We all know that tight pitches and conditions are levellers but if we match them for hunger, desire and attitude, our quality should come through,” Gary told us.
Kyle Neill is to see a specialist on Monday for further investigation of a partial tear of his cruciate ligament. “Kyle might or might not need an operation but whatever the case, the Club will look after him. He has given the Club great service and he’s the only player left since I came so he’s been here for five years or so. He’s been here through the bad times and the good times at Mourneview and has always kept a positive frame of mind,” the Glenavon boss stated. “He’s a good friend of mine as everybody knows but he’s been a great servant, not just to Glenavon, but to the Irish league so we’ll make sure he get’s the treatment he needs.”
The absence of Neill will probably mean Rhys Marshall switching to left back. Joel Cooper started his career in that position but Hamilton prefers to utilise him further up the pitch. Conor Dillon and Andy McGrory can both fill in at right back if Marshall does move across.
The Welders, who are celebrating their 50th Anniversary season, defeated Wellington Rec 3-2 in Round 4 and are currently in 2nd place in the Championship 1 table. In last year’s win over the Lurgan Blues, ex-Glenavon striker David Rainey scored the opener and Scott Davidson doubled the Welder’s advantage. Gary Smyth’s side has already tasted Cup success this season, winning the Steel and Sons Cup on penalties on Christmas Day.
Rainey and Michael McLellan are the Welder’s leading scores this season with 8 and 9 goals respectively.
Referee: Raymond Crangle
- Pitch Inspection at 9:30am:-
- If the pitch fails this inspection, under Irish Challenge Cup rules the re-arranged match would be played at Mourneview Park. The IFA has set a date of Tuesday January 19th for any games postponed tomorrow.
- The match has a 1:30pm kick off.
- Should the scores be level after 90 minutes, there will be 30 minutes extra time and penalties, if required, to decide the winner.
- Admission on Saturday has been agreed at £7 adults and £5 concessions.