Following hard on the heels of Tuesday’s disappointing exit from the League Cup at the hands of Dergview, Glentoran’s visit to Mourneview Park tomorrow (kick off 3pm) is an opportunity to put that result behind his team as Gary Hamilton hopes to make it four league wins in a row. It won’t be an easy task against a Glens team that has made a decent start to the season and which has a good record at Mourneview Park having only lost once in the last ten visits.
“If I remember correctly, when I came to Glenavon we hadn’t won in 11 years against Glentoran at Mourneview,” Gary recalled, “We managed to break that run but, to be fair, victories have been few and far between, against the Glens at Mourneview. I don’t think we’ve been beaten that many times but they always give us a difficult game no matter when they’ve come and how they’ve been playing at that time. Form has gone out the window and they’ve always seem to have put in a good performance and get a result.
“Tomorrow they’re coming to us in probably their best run of form since I’ve been in charge here. I watched them against Coleraine a few weeks ago and they gave Coleraine a really, really good game and I thought that Glentoran thoroughly deserved the draw and maybe could even have deserved to nick it. They impressed me that day and they will be a difficult challenge for us tomorrow and we need to bounce back and put in a good performance for the fans and for the Chairman and Directors as well. As I said to the players the other night ‘people work hard behind the scenes at this club and fans came out to watch the game the other night and we’ve let them down and you can’t be doing that’.
“Without being disrespectful to Dergview, if you look at the statistics (*) it was such a one-sided game it was unbelievable but we didn’t do enough, the effort wasn’t enough, the same as against Loughgall last year, and it’s something the players are going to have to get out of their mentalities very, very quickly because it’s happening too often in these competitions against lower ranked teams. It’s the same players that are playing in the Premiership every week and in the Irish Cup against top teams and have done the Club proud, so it is a mentality thing. Hopefully we can forget about it now and it won’t happen again in the future. They’ve been told what we think and we’ve drawn a line under it and we look forward to the next game, tomorrow, and hopefully we can go out and put in a good performance for everybody who comes out to watch because what we served them up the other night was nowhere near our standards and the standards that we expect of the players. The aim as always has to be three points and, though it won’t be easy, our boys have definitely got the capabilities of doing it.”
- Against Dergview Glenavon had 18 shots but only 3 on target and put 47 crosses into the box.
Sammy Clingan is still recovering from a calf strain, Andrew Doyle was seen by a specialist today to try to get to the bottom of his knee injury, Niall Grace is out with a back problem and Conor McCloskey has a hamstring/tendon problem that will keep him out tomorrow.
Hall set to join 100 Club.
After sitting out Tuesday’s game, should Andy Hall return to the starting line-up tomorrow it will be his 100th start for Glenavon. Signed by Gary Hamilton from Bangor in May 2015, the right-sided midfielder has been described by his manager as “probably the most under-rated footballer in the Irish League.” A regular provider of assists, Hall has also scored some important goals for Glenavon, including one in the Irish Cup Final win over Linfield in May 2016. Andy signed an extension to his contract in November last year that sees him committed to Glenavon until 2021, a clear indication of how important Gary Hamilton feels he is to his team.
Including substitute appearances, Andy has played 109 times for Glenavon, scoring 17 goals and providing 44 assists, despite missing a good part of his second season through a recurring hamstring injury.
Head to Head
The games between the sides have generally been tight affairs, as clearly evidenced by the results over the last few seasons. The last ten games in all competitions ended all-square in five of them, with Glenavon winning three and the Glens two. One of the Glenavon wins came at The Oval en-route to that May 2016 Irish Cup Final when Glenavon triumphed 4-1.
The three league games last season produced two 2-2 draws, both at Mourneview Park, and a 3-1 away win for Glenavon at The Oval. The first time the teams met last season, in August, produced a thrilling 2-2 draw in which Josh Daniels came on for his debut and scored a late equaliser to earn a point for Glenavon who had gone behind to a Robbie McDaid double after Andrew Mitchell had put the Lurgan Blues in front.
The former Derry City winger scored two goals last season but he has already matched that total this season, scoring the winning Europa League goal against Molde FK and the second goal in last week’s 4-0 win over Ballymena United.
- If long-serving Glentoran goalkeeper Elliott Morris starts tomorrow’s game it will be his 700th appearance for the Glens
- Manager Ronnie McFall will be in charge of the Glens for the 300th time.
The Match Sponsors are The Ex-Directors, the Ball is sponsored by Thompson Travel International in Kernan Portadown and the Glenavon Man of the Match Award is sponsored by Glenavon supporter Jack Pringle.
Many thanks to all for your support.
A bucket collection will be held in support of the charity Community Rescue Service (CRS) (http://www.communityrescue.org/). The CRS provides a search and rescue response for missing persons throughout the entire region of Northern Ireland, providing crisis intervention, suicide intervention, rural and urban search, water rescue, community support and education. The CRS are currently in need of a new vehicle to help carry out this vital role and are holding a number of fundraising events across the country.
Lifelong Glenavon supporter, Gary Joyce, along with a number of volunteers, will be collecting prior to kick off and would very much appreciate your support.
Keith Kennedy takes charge of his second Glenavon game this season, the first being the 4-2 win at Warrenpoint.
Referee: Keith Kennedy, Assistants: Stephen Donaldson, Paul Robinson, 4th Official: Ian McNabb