It seems like no time since the last Mid-Ulster derby and of course it’s less than four weeks ago that the sides drew 2-2 on the pitch with Glenavon coming from 2-0 behind thanks to goals from Ciaran Martyn and a last minute equaliser from Mark Sykes. That result has been set aside by the IFA and Portadown awarded a 3-0 win due to an issue over the eligibility of David Elebert, a decision which Glenavon is appealing.

Ports keeper Chris McGaughey dives in vain as Mark Sykes equaliser hits the back of the net. Photo by Alan Weir

“In the last game (on Boxing Day), for a large part of the game I felt we let ourselves and the supporters down in the way we performed but at the end of it we showed great character to come back and get a draw. The first 60 or 75 minutes was unacceptable and you can’t play like that in a derby game,” Gary Hamilton told us this afternoon.

“Hopefully tomorrow the boys will go out and they’ll know what Portadown are all about. They’ll be in your face and not give you time on the ball and they’ll hit you on the counterattack and we have to be prepared for that and make sure we’re mentally right and we’re up to the fight. If we are, hopefully we can create more chances than we have been doing and start punishing teams and killing teams off like we were last year.

“If you look at our stats this year we’ve 11 draws so it’s fine lines between winning and losing. We’re one goal away in 11 games from winning and on the other side of the coin we’re one goal away from losing games. The pleasing thing is if we start scoring goals and getting somebody to find the back of the net then our fortunes will turn and we’ll start picking up points. It’s alright talking about it but we have to start doing it and producing it on the pitch.”

Match Officials

Referee Assistant 1 Assistant 1 4th Official
Ian McNabb David Anderson Adrian Sobieski Steven Taylor