Glenavon entertain Dungannon Swifts in the Quarter Final of the Mid Ulster Cup on Tuesday 25th October. The Swifts are, of course, the current holders of the trophy having won it in each of the past four seasons. Kick off at MVP is 7.45 pm. Admission charges are £8 Adult and £5 Concession. Season tickets are not valid for the game. The match is being sponsored by Al McCann, with the ball sponsored by Pearl Sinnamon, and the Man of the Match award sponsored by Billy Vogan.
Crisis? What crisis?
Glenavon bounced back from a disappointing 0-0 draw with Carrick Rangers to thrash the league’s in-form side, Ballymena United, at Mourneview Park.
Boss Gary Hamilton made a number of changes to his starting line-up, with James Singleton making his first start of the season, while up top Kevin Braniff was dropped, with Paddy McCourt playing behind Eoin Bradley who was the lone frontman.
The game got off to a feisty start when Eoin Bradley had a clash with Ballymena’s Caolan Loughran. Loughran ended up on the floor – referee Raymond Crangle didn’t see it and waved play on.
Bradley was to go on and score the opener on seven minutes after he had been brought down by Kyle Owens on the edge of the box, the defender earning a booking for his troubles. Bradley stepped up and curled a wonderful free kick into net.
Glenavon’s lead was doubled on 21 minutes, Bradley turning provider as he crossed for Ciaran Martyn, who stooped low to head home.
Rhys Marshall came to the rescue to deny the Sky Blues when he blocked a Johnny McMurray shot a few minutes later; the striker’s follow-up going off target.
Glenavon bagged their third just before the half-hour mark as Jim Ervin turned in an Andy Hall cross.
Again Ballymena could have pulled a goal back through Cathair Friel just before the break, but Jonny Tuffey denied the striker.
Substitute Conor McCloskey had the first chance of the second half, missing the target on 51 minutes, before Willie Faulkner hit the post on 63 minutes.
Bradley spotted Ben McAuley off his line a short while later and attempted to lob the goalkeeper, but his audacious effort went over the bar.
A perfect pass by Paddy McCourt set up Bradley for his second and Glenavon’s fourth, the strike bearing down on goal before firing past the goalkeeper.
The returning Greg Moorhouse came off the bench to round off the scoring, running clear of the defence to power the ball past the goalkeeper.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Kelly, Lindsay, Marshall, Cooper, Bradley, Hall, Sykes, McCourt, Martyn, Singleton. Subs: Kilmartin, Patton, McGrory, Moorhouse, Braniff.
Ballymena United: McAuley, Kane, Owens, Thompson, Jenkins, Faulkner, Friel, Wallace, Ervin, McMurray, Loughran. Subs: Flynn, Gage, McCloskey. E.Kane, Lowry.
Referee: R Crangle.
Gary Hamilton has urged Glenavon fans to keep the faith with the club’s strikers.
The Lurgan Blues host an on-form Ballymena United side, who will provide tough opposition as the Glenavon boss tries to get his team back on track.
It was only the second time this season that Glenavon have failed to find the net, but Hamilton hopes that his team’s fortunes start to turn quickly.
“I know what it is like to go on a run of games without scoring and you start to lose confidence but there is no solution other than to continue to work hard and hope you get a lucky break,” he told the Lurgan Mail.
“It is something we obviously accept must start to change but scoring goals is probably the most valued part of the game because it is the hardest.
“I look at the players and we are capable of scoring goals from so many areas but it is just not happening at present.
“But no-one is hiding and they remain brave on the pitch, so that gives me confidence that everything can turn with one goal.”
Gary begins a four-match suspension next weekend following an unsuccessful appeal of the ban handed to him after being sent-off against Dungannon Swifts.
This weekend, however, there will be a reshuffle at the back as Andy Doyle sits out the game after his sending off last weekend.
There will be a collection at Saturday’s game organised by local man and Glenavon supporter, David Lorimer, who is running the Dublin marathon next weekend in aid of Brain Cancer Research. For more, read here. If you won’t be at the game tomorrow you can donate £5 (or whatever you choose) by texting DAVL62 £5 to 70070.
There is top class International action at MVP this Thursday when the U19 USA women’s team take on France in the latest game in the Women’s International Cup. The mini-tournament is being held at various venues this week throughout the Province and features Northern Ireland as well as three of the leading sides in women’s football: England, France and USA. In August 2017 the European U19 Championship will be held in Northern Ireland with a number games scheduled for MVP. Tickets , priced at £5 Adult and £3 Child, are available on-line from Ticketmaster or from the Ticketmaster booth which will be outside the ground on Thursday. Kick off is at 12 noon.
It is with much sadness that we have to record the passing on Monday of Loftus Buckley. Although ill-health had prevented Loftus attending many of our matches in recent years he still retained a great affection for Glenavon. His funeral service will be held tomorrow ( Wednesday) in Malcomson’s Funeral Home at 2.00pm with donations, if desired, to Praxis Care, Lurgan through Malcomson’s Funeral Services. Condolences are sent to the family circle at this sad time.
Be Just and Fear Not.
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