Following a pitch inspection at Solitude this morning, today’s game has been called off due to the large amount of snow on the pitch.
Glenavon travel to Solitude tomorrow, weather permitting, to take on the form team at the moment in the Danske Bank Premiership.
Although the Lurgan Blues emerged victorious in the first match against the Reds at Mourneview Park back in September, winning 3-1, there’s no doubt that Barry Gray now has his talented Cliftonville side firing on all cylinders and it will be a tough game tomorrow, the Reds having won the last six league games.
Glenavon’s record on the road in the league this season is excellent having won the last five on the road and winning 7 out of the 8 away games, the only defeat coming against league leaders Coleraine.
Gary Hamilton must reshuffle his defence with Andy Doyle suspended following a harsh second yellow card against Ards last Saturday that saw the defender sent off in the 37th minute. “We’ll be without a player who’s been excellent for us this season, possibly, at this minute in time, a contender for our Player of the Season. He’s missing tomorrow, unfortunately and unfairly, due to a poor refereeing decision. It’s not just that but in consequence we’ve to play Simon Kelly on a 4G pitch which we were never going to do but we have to play him which runs the risk of Simon now being injured and out for a few weeks but there’s nothing we can do about these scenarios and we just have to get on with it. We’re the ones who have to pick up the pieces of these refereeing decisions with a small squad.”
“The other scenario from the Ards game is Mark Sykes picks up his 5th yellow card for an alleged dive which everyone in the stadium saw it wasn’t a dive and, even if it’s not a penalty, there’s no way you can book the lad for that as he didn’t dive at any stage. There were four Clubs coming over to watch him against Crusaders next week and now he won’t be playing and that shows the impact that these decisions are having on players. There’s a young lad, due to play in a top game next week, people coming over to see him, and now that won’t happen because of a refereeing decision.”
“It’ll be a difficult game but the boys are full of good spirit at the minute, full of confidence and, if anybody can go and get a result it’s them but everybody will have to be on top of their game tomorrow because they’re coming up against the most deadly strike force in the Irish League. We have to be on our guard and the defenders have to stand up and be counted tomorrow and be big and strong. If they do that they give the forward players a platform to build with but we’re going to need a big performance from the whole team tomorrow if we’re to get anything out of the game.”
Glenavon fans travelling to the match are reminded about the advice issued by the PSNI earlier this week – see here.
The NIFL website will carry updates regarding weather conditions and possible pitch inspections. As of Friday afternoon no pitch inspection has been notified for Solitude.
Last Five League Games
Cliftonville: W W W W W
Glenavon: D W W L W
Head to Head
This Saturday Cliftonville will be hosting a Foodbank collection ahead of the game and the Club would be grateful for any donations from fans of both clubs.