After conceding just three league goals at Solitude until the 4-0 Boxing Day defeat by the Champions and league leaders Crusaders, Reds manager Gerard Lyttle will be looking to bounce back when he brings his side to Mourneview on Friday night (kick off 7:45pm). That defeat brought to an end a run of six straight league wins including victories against Linfield and Ballymena United so Gary Hamilton is expecting another tough match.

“Obviously it’s a difficult tie, Cliftonville are a decent side and coming off a 4-0 defeat which they’ll be hurting over especially as its against one of their nearest rivals and Gerard will be looking for a reaction it’s probably one of the worst times to meet a Cliftonville side. It’s always bad when you meet a side after a defeat which they’re hurting over” Gary told us today.

“Cliftonville have showed us in every game this season that they’re one of the top sides, even though we managed to beat them in the league earlier on this season at home and got a win over them in the Cup in extra time. Down there it was a good tight solid match and the game changed in a couple of minutes when they scored two goals. They’ve all been good, tight affairs, good entertaining games and I’m expecting the same tomorrow night.”

“We’ll need to get in their faces and stop them playing. They’re a tidy football team, they keep the ball well and move it quickly and we have to stop them doing that and get on top of them. We have to use our physical advantage to full effect in terms of winning the ball back and make sure defensively we’re really good and pressing the ball all over the pitch and try to make them make mistakes in their own third because they do like to play through the thirds.

“I was pleased with the character the lads showed on Boxing Day. With the run of form we were having maybe the boys confidence had been hit a little bit. Where we were full of confidence last year, coming back from goals down and winning games and drawing games, sometimes when your confidence is low it’s harder to do that but, to be fair, against Portadown, they showed that character to come back and get a draw,” Gary concluded.

Transfer-listed Kevin Braniff is out with a groin strain he picked up at Shamrock Park and Greg Moorhouse is a doubt with a knee injury he picked up in a heavy challenge on Boxing Day that went unpunished. Kris Lindsay returns from his one game suspension but new signing James Gray is ineligible.

Match Officials

T Marshall G Eakin J McElholm T Clarke

Our Sponsors

Friday’s Match Sponsor is Tritex Core Company, a sister company of Angle Edge Protection based in Trim, County Meath, that has been manufacturing cardboard cores for over 22 years. The Ball Sponsor is supporter Gordon Gough and the Glenavon Man of the Match award is sponsored by a trio of fans Clifford Dennison, Paul Adamson and Ian Perry

Match Sponsor Ball Sponsor Man of the Match Sponsor
Tritex Cores  Gordon Gough  Clifford Dennison, Paul Adamson, Ian Perry