Preview: Cliftonville v Glenavon

Glenavon finishes the league campaign with the second of three trips to Belfast. Last Tuesday night saw the Lurgan Blues lose 3-0 to Linfield at Windsor Park and tomorrow it’s off to Solitude with the campaign finishing against the Champions at Seaview next Saturday.

Chris Turner is recovered from the injury he picked up in the 3-0 win against Ballymena United. Photo by Maynard Collins

Rhys Marshall completes his two game ban tomorrow but Gary Hamilton’s selection choices are still limited by injuries and potential bans for Mark Sykes and David Elebert who are both on 9 cautions and Ciaran Martyn who is on four cautions so a further booking for any of those three would rule them out of the play-off games. “On Tuesday night I literally only had 16 players available to me,” Gary explained. “Simon Kelly and Kris Lindsay were both injured from Saturday, Kyle Neill was at his brother’s wedding and I couldn’t risk the boys who are one booking away from a suspension.

“Obviously I was disappointed with the result the other night but for 20 minutes we were well in it and, looking back at the highlights, we should have had a penalty, the decision didn’t go our way, then we conceded a goal from a mistake which was so uncharacteristic of James. That gave Linfield the momentum and confidence that they needed and then we made another mistake a couple of minutes later and it’s 2-0 and unfortunately our heads went down.

“We played the players we had available but unfortunately it didn’t work out but the other night does show the importance of those players who are running the risk of suspension and injury and how much they’re needed. The last thing we can do is risk putting all these players out of the two important (play-off) games. I share the fans’ frustrations in terms of the result but unfortunately we’re at the stage of the season when there’s nothing we can do about it and needs must at the end of the day in terms of what we’re doing and trying to do.”

Aaron Canning and Joel Cooper join the injury list, the latter as a result of a poor challenge by Paul Smyth that somehow wasn’t punished by a red card on Tuesday night. There is some good news though with Simon Kelly and Chris Turner back from injury.

Glenavon and Cliftonville have met four times so far this season, three times in the league and once in the quarter final of the League Cup. Glenavon have the slight advantage with two wins and a draw; the one defeat was the only one of those four games at Solitude.

Supporters are reminded to check the important advice published yesterday.

Advice to Supporters for the Cliftonville Match

Advice to Supporters for the Cliftonville v Glenavon match on Saturday 22nd April 2017

Glenavon fans travelling by private car to Cliftonville Football Club for the Danske Bank Irish Premiership match on Saturday 22nd April 2017 are requested to park in the residential areas above Solitude i.e. Cardigan Drive and Knutsford Drive etc. Motorists should consider local resident and emergency vehicle access when deciding where and how to park.

Glenavon fans parking in the residential areas around Knutsford and Cardigan are requested to approach and leave the area via the Westland Road and avoid travelling city wards on the Cliftonville Road after the match to avoid traffic congestion.

Supporters travelling by Bus/Coach should be at Fortwilliam roundabout/M2 by 14.15pm at the latest where they will be met by PSNI who will advise Drivers/Clubs re the arrangements for both moving to Solitude and away from the ground at the end of the match.

Supporters are reminded that there are specific offences created by the Criminal Justice Act NI 2011 in relation to soccer matches:-

  • Possession of Fireworks/Flares etc.
  • Throwing articles capable of causing injury
  • Going onto the playing area
  • Sectarian chanting
  • Drinking on passenger carrying vehicles

Supporters are also reminded that the areas around the Stadium are “No Street Drinking” zones under Belfast City Council By-Laws.

We are confident that supporters will uphold the good name of Glenavon Football Club and ensure that the impact of the event on the local residents and business communities is minimised.

Club Statement

Glenavon has recently received correspondence from the Irish Football Association (IFA) charging the club following the recent Irish Cup semi-final against Coleraine. The charge relates to two incidents of spectator misconduct. Firstly, the throwing of a smoke bomb onto the playing area shortly after our equalizing goal. Secondly, the actions of a small number of our supporters who gathered near the dug outs at the end of the game to shout abuse at Coleraine players as they left the pitch and had to be moved on by security staff. Such actions are dangerous, stupid and totally indefensible.

The IFA has informed Glenavon that on this occasion the sanction is being limited to the issue of a warning. However should further incidents of this nature occur in the future it is very likely the club at the least will face a serious financial sanction. If this situation arises, the club will have to find the cost of this sanction from finance earmarked for the general running of the club including the playing squad budget – money that by and large is provided by the generosity of our sponsors and the hard work of our supporters’ clubs. This would be wholly unacceptable and the Board of Directors therefore strongly urges those individuals involved to carefully consider the consequences of their actions in the future.

Result: Linfield 3-0 Glenavon

Gary Hamilton makes six changes to the team that started Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Coleraine. With Rhys Marshall starting his two-game suspension, Aaron Canning comes back but starts in midfield with Andy McGrory at left back in the defence along with Caolan Marron and Andrew Doyle. They join left back James Singleton who scored the equaliser against the Bannsiders. Joel Cooper and Andrew Hall provide the width and Greg Moorhouse starts up front in place of Jordan Jenkins who drops to the bench.

Highlights and Managers’ reactions from BBC Sport NI

Photos by Maynard Collins.

28: 1-0 Burns scores from the penalty spot

33: 2-0 Haughey rises to power Quinn’s cross beyond Tuffey

44: 3-0 Smyth races on to Waterworth’s flick and fires the hosts into a 3-0 halftime lead.

Glenavon were more than holding their own until the 28th minute when Singleton’s attempted back pass went straight to Andy Waterworth and Jonny Tuffey was adjudged to have fouled the striker as he came out to cut down the angle. Aaron Burns took the spot kick and put the home side ahead in the 28th minute.

Two minutes earlier Glenavon were asking for a penalty as Paul Smyth was all over the back of Singleton as he tried to get to a ball to the far post following a corner.

Five minutes later former Glenavon defender Mark Haughey doubled the lead with a bullet header after Niall Quinn crossed to the front post after his previous corner had only been cleared back to him.

Paul Smyth made it 3-0 in the 44th minute with an assured finish as he ran onto a flick-on by Waterworth from a free kikck out by Roy Carroll.

There were no further goals in the second half but Tuffey made a great save with his boot to deny Waterworth a goal in the 64th minute and James Gray did have a header cleared off the line by Clarke from McGrory’s corner. Doyle came to Glenavon’s rescue late on when he also cleared off the line after Tuffey half-stopped Waterworth’s close range effort. Tuffey then beat away Casement’s swerving follow-up shot.

Linfield: Carroll, Haughey (Stafford 51), Callacher, Casement, Quinn, Lowry, Burns (Millar 69), Clarke, Mulgrew (c) (Ward 46), Smyth, Waterworth. Subs: Stafford, Millar, Ward, Gaynor, Strain

Glenavon: Tuffey (c), Canning, Marron, Doyle, Singleton, Hall (Norton 46), Kilmartin Patton 66), McGrory, Cooper, Gray, Moorhouse (Jenkins 66). Subs: Patton, Bates, Jenkins, Norton, Renato

Referee: Steven Taylor