Glenavon play host to Coleraine on Saturday with Gary Hamilton aiming to bounce back from a disappointing home defeat last Friday night to Dungannon Swifts. The Bannsiders also lost 0-1 at home on Friday night to Cliftonville, their first home league defeat since March. Glenavon came within five minutes of inflicting that first home defeat on Oran Kearney’s men back in September having led 2-0 before being pegged back to come away with a 2-2 draw. On that occasion the goals came from Eoin Bradley and Kevin Braniff but Bradley has now gone five games without scoring since he bagged two in the 5-0 demolition of Ballymena United in October and Braniff, who has been playing with a groin injury all season, hasn’t been on the score sheet since he grabbed the winner against Portadown at the beginning of October.
Gary felt that there wasn’t much in last Friday’s game with the Swifts. “We created a few more chances but we got hit by a sucker punch at the end. On the whole it wasn’t a really poor performance but it’s been the story of our season so far. We’re not scoring enough goals. At vital points of the game when we’re on top and dominating teams we’re not killing them off. It’s not just a centre forward thing; our goals come from all over the pitch but this year we’re not chipping in all over the pitch with as many goals. It’s an old cliché in football that if you don’t score goals you won’t win football matches and that’s the problem we’re having this year but I can’t question the boys for effort or performances or commitment. It’s just not happening for them at the moment in front of goal. We just need a wee break and hopefully we’ll start scoring again, the boys confidence levels will lift.
“We’ve a big game tomorrow against a very, very good Coleraine side. If we get chances we have to take them when they come along because against good sides like Coleraine, if you don’t, you’ll lose. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll turn the corner; that’s what we’re looking to do and go on a run. We set them a target this week to really work at a high tempo in training and to be fair it’s probably the highest tempo we’ve trained at since I’ve been at the Club. Fair play to the boys they’ve reacted to it and answered us in the way we want. Hopefully they can bring it out into the game tomorrow and if they do they’ll give themselves a very, very good chance of getting a result because the intensity of training this week has been excellent.”
Guy Bates is doubtful with a groin niggle picked up during the Reserves midweek win against Dungannon. Paddy McCourt and Ciaran Martyn will be getting game time in the Reserves tomorrow as they continue their comebacks from injury.
Glenavon hasn’t lost to Coleraine since December 2014, winning all four league games last season without conceding a goal. The Bannsiders have made a better start to the league campaign this time around and Saturday’s encounter will be another tough test for Gary’s team.
Our match sponsor today is life-long Glenavon supporter Noel Cunningham. The ball is sponsored by the Lurgan branch of Soroptimist International. SI seeks to inspire action and create opportunities to transform lives of women and girls through a global network of members and international partnerships. The Glenavon Man of the Match award this week is sponsored by I Do Wedding Cars from Portadown who not only cater for weddings but also provide first-class limo hire in Northern Ireland, perfect for transportation to parties, prom nights, hen nights, events, airport runs etc.
|Man of the Match Sponsor
|I Do Wedding Cars, Portadown