Preview: Coleraine v Glenavon

danske-logoGlenavon hit the road again tomorrow for the third away trip in a row, for game #9 in the Danske Bank Premiership as they take on Coleraine. Although Glenavon won all four games against the Bannsiders last season, Oran Kearney’s side have made a solid start to the season with three wins and a couple of draws in their first seven games so Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton is expecting a tough encounter.ctdffzlwcaa1tsi

“Although we beat them four out of four last season, the score lines sometimes didn’t reflect the game and this season, as well as James McLaughlin, Oran has other players chipping in with goals. The season before it was them who took more points off us so it will be a tough game.

“We’ll need to be on top of our game and put in a good shift tomorrow. I’ve been pleased enough with the way we played in the last two league games and the lads showed their resilience last week when it was 10 against 9 so we are going there with a positive attitude,” Gary told us.

The Lurgan Blues boss and defender Kris Lindsay are both available after sitting out the mid-week Mid-Ulster Cup match, both having been sent off in last weekend’s game at Dungannon Swifts.

Paddy McCourt played the full 90 minutes in Tuesday’s Mid-Ulster Cup quarter final against Newry City AFC, scoring his first Glenavon goal in a 4-0 win, as he continues to build up his match fitness. Long-term injury duo James Singleton and Kyle Neill also started the game though Neill had to come off after half an hour as a precaution when he felt a tight calf. Simon Kelly is a doubt but David Elebert is available again after missing last Saturday’s game because of a family wedding.

Anyone who can’t make Saturday’s game at the Showgrounds will wish to note that the final game of the Under-17 European mini-tournament takes place at MVP, kick off  3.00pm, when Northern Ireland entertain San Marino. Admission is free.

Match Officials

Referee Assistant 1 Assistant 2 4th Official
Raymond Hetherington Paul Robinson Adrian Sobieski Ian McNabb


Result: Dungannon Swifts 1-1 Glenavon

Guy Bates and Andy Kilmartin drop to the bench with Kevin Braniff and Ciaran Martyn into the starting lineup

Glenavon started well and Eoin Bradley put his side ahead with a curling free kick into the bottom right corner of Andy Coleman’s net from 28 yards in the 9th minute.

Eoin Bradley celebrates after scoring the opening goal. Photo by Brian Bain

Eoin Bradley celebrates after scoring the opening goal. Photo by Brian Bain

Photo by Alan Weir

Photo by Alan Weir

Bradley went close to doubling his tally in the 40th minute when he cut along the byeline and smashed a shot that Coleman blocked out at his near post for a corner.

In the last minute of the half both teams were reduced to ten men when Kris Lindsay and Ryan Harpur were both shown red cards by referee Mervyn Smyth following a melee in the Swifts box. Joel Cooper took a Glenavon corner which the home side failed to clear, Braniff hooked the ball back into the six yard area where it was gathered by Coleman but then a scuffle seemed to develop out of nothing. The Swifts keeper’s aggressive reaction to whatever he perceived to have happened could easily have seen him pick up a yellow but the referee overlooked it and flashed red cards at Lindsay and Harpur.

The melee after which Kris Lindsay and Ryan Harpur were dismissed. Photo by Brian Bain.

The melee after which Kris Lindsay and Ryan Harpur were dismissed. Photo by Brian Bain.

Photo by Alan Weir

Photo by Alan Weir

In the 67th minute Rhys Marshall headed Hall’s free kick back to Ciaran Martyn but he blasted over the bar.

Minutes later Cooper made a vital interception to cut out a cross from Mitchell who looked to feed Stefan Lavery after forcing his way into the box.

Rhys Marshall hurdles a challenge by Andrew Mitchell. Photo by Alan Weir

Rhys Marshall hurdles a challenge by Andrew Mitchell. Photo by Alan Weir

Swifts drew level in the 72nd minute when a Glenavon attack broke down and the hosts counter-attacked with Jamie Glackin picking out centre half David Armstrong who found himself in acres of space in the Glenavon box and he picked out the bottom corner with a shot across Tuffey.

Mystery surrounded the red card shown to substitute Gary Hamilton not long after he replaced Kevin Braniff, ten minutes from the end. There was a tangle on the ground with Christopher Hegarty and astonishingly referee Smyth brandished a red card to the Glenavon player-manager.

Mervyn Smyth sends Gary Hamilton off. Photo by Brian Bain.

Mervyn Smyth sends Gary Hamilton off. Photo by Brian Bain.

Andy Mitchell had a shot well saved by Jonny Tuffey and he also smashed a shot off the post in stoppage time.

Perfect timing by our photographer Alan Weir as Andrew Mitchell's shot hits the post.

Perfect timing by our photographer Alan Weir as Andrew Mitchell’s shot hits the post.

Glenavon is left to rue the numerous missed chances with Eoin Bradley, Ciaran Martyn and Mark Patton all firing over when they had great chances to extend Glenavon’s lead.

Dungannon: Coleman, Burns, Armstrong, Wilson, Hegarty, Clucas, Harpur (c), Glackin, Teggart, Mitchell, McElroy. Subs: Addisd (GK), Fitzpatrick, O’Rourke, Burke, Lavery

Glenavon: Tuffey, Doyle, Kelly, Lindsay, Marshall, Hall, Martyn, Sykes, Cooper,Braniff,Bradley Subs: Patton, McGrory, Bates, Hamilton, Kilmartin

Preview: Dungannon Swifts – Glenavon

danske-logoSaturday sees Glenavon make the second in a trio of away trips in the Danske Bank Premiership with a visit to Stangmore Park to face Dungannon Swifts. It comes hard on the heels of Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at The Oval, Glenavon being denied all three points by a late Glens equaliser. Next weekend its a trip to the Coleraine Showgrounds but Gary Hamilton is just focussing on tomorrow’s game.csfbzv1waaaoxta

The Swifts leading goal scorer Andrew Mitchell has attracted the interest of a number of clubs and Glenavon made a concerted effort to re-sign the former Lurgan Blues striker over the summer.

Games between the sides have generally been tight, hard fought affairs and, though Glenavon has won the last four league meetings there’s rarely been more than a goal between the sides and Gary is expecting another tough game on Saturday.

“It’ll be another tough game for sure. Dungannon never make it easy for us and in Andrew Mitchell they have one of the top strikers around at the moment but hopefully we can keep him quiet. Rodney (McAree) has made some good signings and they have been playing well lately.

“We want to go there and play well and we’re aiming to take maximum points. As always we’re looking to win and if we don’t we’ll be very disappointed but we’ll have to work hard for it and we have to get on the front foot and play with plenty of energy and at a high tempo.”

Joel Cooper, who scored a fantastic goal at The Oval on Tuesday that’s become an internet sensation, faces a fitness test after coming off with a knock towards the end of that game and Dave Elebert is at a family wedding but it’s hoped that Simon Kelly will be back at the heart of the defence.

“Joel clashed knees on Tuesday so it’s more of a knock than a strain. Paddy McCourt will probably be rested as he still is really in pre-season for him and we don’t want to risk getting him injured and then be missing for a longer period,” the Glenavon manager explained.

Match Officials

Referee Assistant 1 Assistant 2 4th Official
Mervyn Smyth Gareth Eakin David Anderson Arnold Hunter


Result: Glentoran 2-2 Glenavon

Gary Hamilton makes five changes to the starting line-up. Simon Kelly is out with a tight hamstring with David Elebert coming in as his replacement. Also out are Andy McGrory, Mark Patton, Ciaran Martyn and Declan O’Brien. Rhys Marshall returns from suspension with Guy Bates and Andy Hall in from the start and Paddy McCourt makes his first league start.

Nacho Novo lasted only 7 minutes for the Glens before limping off with an injury to be replaced by Alex Leu. The sub supplied the cross for the opening goal in the 20th minute when Jonathan Smith smashed a shot into the roof of the net from 6 yards.

Eoin Bradley equalised in the 35th minute when he ran onto a ball over the top from Andrew Doyle before smashing a left foot shot into the bottom corner for his first goal of the season.

Joel Cooper, playing at left back tonight, popped up on the right wing after taking a corner when Doyle again played a ball over the top of Ross Redman. Cooper carried the ball into the box, twisted Redman and another defender inside out before turning back onto his right and curling a sublime finish over the helpless Dwayne Nelson.

In the 78th minute Nelson got down to save bravely at the feet of Mark Sykes as he burst into the box and Marshall went close when he glanced a free kick from Andy Hall just over the bar in the 87th minute

Stevie Gordon stroked in an equaliser two minutes from time as he got on the end of a neat move by the Glens on the right.

There was still time for the home side to have a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside and Glenavon had strong claims for a penalty ignored as Sykes appeared to be barged over in the box.

Speaking after the game, Gary Hamilton was disappointed to concede the late equaliser in a game he felt his side deserved to win and he was adamant that the late challenge on Sykes was a ‘stonewall’ penalty.

Apologies for the wind noise on our recording 🙁

GLENTORAN: Nelson, McAuley, Magee, Birney, Redman, Caldwell, Foley, Harmon, Lavery, Novo (C), Smith. Subs not used: Gordon (Caldwell 78), Leu (Novo 9), Cafolla, Delaney, McAlorum.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Marshall, Doyle, Elebert, Cooper, Hall, Sykes, Kilmartin, McCourt (C) , Bates, Bradley. Subs not used: Hamilton (Cooper 83), Lindsay, Braniff (Bates 74), Martyn, Burns (McCourt 78).

REFEREE: Ian McNabb (Carrickfergus)

Preview: Glentoran – Glenavon (Tue 7:45pm)

danske-logoThis fixture, re-arranged from September 3rd due to the international call-ups of Rhys Marshall, Joel Cooper and Mark Sykes, sees both clubs looking to bounce back from defeats on Saturday. The manager-less Glens lost on the road to Ards and Glenavon unexpectedly lost at home to Ballinamallard, a stoppage time penalty earning the Mallards their first win of the season.

Marshall is back in contention for a starting place after he completed a two game suspension on Saturday and with Gary Hamilton disappointed with the performance of his side, he could be one of a number of changes for the trip to The Oval.

Update – GH Interview

“The boys did try on Saturday but the energy levels and the tempo from the start weren’t high enough. We didn’t start at our usual high tempo and put them under enough pressure which allowed them to slow the game down. We did do a little better in the second half after we spoke to the lads at half time but overall we didn’t create the number of chances that we usually do.

“I still have confidence in the players – they just need to get back to what they do well: work harder than the opposition, press the ball better and put the other team under pressure.”

“The fans have been great the past two or three seasons but I felt on Saturday, in a game where we really needed it, the support was a bit dead. I know the players have to do more to lift the atmosphere but the fans can play their part too. I personally can take the criticism – that’s part of what I’m paid for – but it can affect some of the players’ confidence and their willingness to try things if they hear moans and groans from the crowd when they try something and it doesn’t come off.”

Match Officials

Referee Assistant 1 Assistant 2 4th Official
Ian McNabb Stephen Bell Neil Gillespie Peter McGrath