The last time these two met at Mourneview Park Crusaders managed to go away with a point after coming back from 3-1 down with a late goal by Jordan Owens securing a 3-3 draw for the Champions.
Two goals by Dave Elebert and one from Rhys Marshall had cancelled out an early opener from Paul Heatley who also grabbed a second shortly after Elebert had made it 3-1 to the Lurgan Blues. “It was a really good game of football, entertaining from both teams,” Gary Hamilton recalled. “It’s going to be difficult, we always know that. Crusaders have won the league the last two seasons because they’ve been the best team and this season they’re sitting top of the league, seven points clear, because they’re the best team.
“The one thing we’ve done okay this year is we’ve competed in most matches against them so we need to go out with the same attitude tomorrow, the same desire and hunger and compete the same way we have done in other matches and hopefully we can manage to get a result. That’s the aim is going into every game and hopefully we can get the slice of luck and decisions will go for us and we’ll get a win. That would be nice but we know it’s going to be a difficult game.”
James Singleton is suspended following his red card in last Saturday’s Mid-Ulster derby win over Portadown. Andy McGrory injured ankle ligaments during the week so also misses the game tomorrow, joining Kyle Neill, Andy Hall and Andrew Doyle on the injury list. The latter two are making good progress following operations on ankle and knee respectively.
International clearance has come through this morning for new signing Renato de Vecchi so he’s likely to feature in the squad tomorrow. “In training he looks a talent and he looks like he will excite people,” Gary said, “but of course it’s what happens on the pitch that counts. Some players take a while to adjust while others can hit the ground running. His pace is impressive and that’s a big thing in any league but especially in this league. If we can get the best out of him, getting him running at people, that will hopefully add goals to our tally.”
Gary also paid tribute to Declan O’Brien who has joined Carrick Rangers this week. “I wish Fabio all the best and I’d like to thank him for the service he has given us over the last couple of years. He’s been a joy to work with and his attitude was always first class and whenever he was called upon he always did a job for us and never let us down and he scored a lot of goals. Remembering back to the semi-final of the Irish Cup last season, that was probably one of his best moments for us.
“He goes with our blessing and it’s best for both parties at this moment – obviously he’s not been getting a lot of game time with ourselves and it releases a bit of budget for us and by the same token it gives him the opportunity to go and get first team football and get another year on his contract. He’s a model pro and everything I expected him to be when I signed him.”
Our 2016/17 charity partner Angel Wishes will be undertaking a charity collection at the game and we would ask all supporters to please give generously.
|Referee||Assistant 1||Assistant 2||4th Official|
|Raymond Crangle||Richard Storey||David Anderson||Raymond Hetherington|
In this week’s programme, Gary Hamilton says Andrew Mitchell has the potential to become a
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|Match Sponsor||Ball Sponsor||Man of the Match Sponsor|
|Glenavon Social Club||Tommy Anderson||Eddy Kerr|