Coleraine are Saturday’s opponents in the second of the post-split Danske Bank Premiership games. Following last week’s first round of games, which saw Glenavon record their fourth consecutive league win with a late comeback victory over reigning champions Crusaders at Mourneview Park, while Coleraine fell to a 4-2 defeat away to Cliftonville at Solitude, the Lurgan Blues are currently sitting in fourth place, two places and 12 points above the Bannsiders.
Long-term absentees Andrew Doyle and Caolan Marron remain unavailable for Glenavon, while Eoin Wearen will return to the squad after missing the Crusaders game through illness. Striker Andrew Mitchell, who picked up an injury during the warm-up last Saturday, will have his fitness monitored in the run-up to this weekend’s game to determine if he is fit enough to make a return.
Glenavon’s recent burst of form has seen them close to within just one point of the Crues in third spot, and they are five short of Ballymena United in second place. With four league fixtures remaining, some Glenavon fans may be hopeful of securing automatic passage into the Europa League qualifying rounds. However, Lurgan Blues manager Gary Hamilton had a more pragmatic outlook on his team’s prospects for the end of the season.
‘Crusaders and Ballymena remain in very strong positions, and it is very difficult to pick up four or five wins on the bounce after the split in our league, because obviously you’re playing against all the other top sides,’ said the Glenavon boss. ‘All we can do is take one game at a time and see where that leaves us come the end of the season.’
Gary was pleased with his side’s performance against Crusaders on Saturday past. ‘Apart from the opening 10 minutes of each half, when the Crues were on top and we maybe had to rely on Tuffers to make a couple of key saves, I thought we were right in the game and deserved to get at least a point out of it. Okay, maybe we were fortunate to score two late goals and come away with all three points, but very often this season we haven’t had the rub of the green, so it was nice to see a bit of good luck come our way for a change.’
Looking ahead to Saturday’s encounter against Coleraine, Hamilton said: ‘Coleraine, much like ourselves, are capable of beating any team in this league on their day, and Saturday will come down to which team turns up on the day. Hopefully the boys can take confidence from our recent run of results, and if we can defend well, take our chances at the other end and hopefully get that wee bit of luck again, then there’s no reason why we can’t get another positive result on Saturday.’
Please note: Glenavon fan Avril Noble will be carrying out a bucket collection prior to the game in support of Marie Curie. To raise funds Avril will be running the Great North Run on 8 September. Avril has chosen Marie Curie in recognition of the end of life care provided for her mother. Please support this worthy cause by donating your loose change.
Last five league games
Glenavon: L W W W W
Coleraine: W L W L L
Head to Head
Last ten games in all competitions
Glenavon: W2 D5 L2 F17 A14, Average goals per game: 3.1
Glenavon have the edge so far this season winning two and drawing one of the three encounters between the sides.
- Match Sponsor: Stephen Moutray
- Ball Sponsor: Tommy Anderson
- Glenavon MOM Sponsor: Barry Craig
Referee: Keith Kennedy, Assistants: Kristian Hanna, Ryan Kelsey, Fourth Official: Jamie Robinson