Glenavon fell six points behind leaders Ballymena United following last weekend’s defeat at Solitude so the pressure is on to get all three points against the visitors Coleraine in Friday night’s Danske Bank Premiership match (kick-off 7:45pm). Despite Glenavon winning the reverse fixture 4-1 at the Showgrounds in October, a result that saw the Bannsiders’ long unbeaten run come to and end, games between the sides are usually close affairs and no doubt tomorrow night will be another tough game.
“Coleraine’s a top side as they’ve proved over the last two seasons, finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively,” Gary Hamilton said in his preview of tomorrow night’s game. “They also won an Irish Cup and got to an Irish Cup final in the last two seasons as well. They’re a team with a lot of quality throughout the side. They’ve probably been hampered by the loss of Brad Lyons like we lost Bobby Burns so we’ve both lost top players to English and Scottish clubs and it does take it’s toll on you.
“Oran Kearney’s moved on as well and it’s taken them a little while to settle but over the last few week’s they seem to be back to where they were again and we’ll have to be well on our game tomorrow night. People are going to be watching the game live on TV and, no matter who you are, you have pride as a professional, you don’t want to let yourself down and you want to go out make sure you perform and do well as a team.”
Gary also confirmed that Glenavon has accepted an offer from Port Vale for Mark Sykes. “It’s a good opportunity for him but it’s up to Mark now to decide if the deal is right for him. There’s a lot he needs to go through before he makes up his mind but it’s professional football which he has craved for the last three or four years now. We thought he was going to get a move last year but when it didn’t happen he put in the extra work in training and extra sessions in the gym on his own and he’s been performing in games which has led to him being in the position he’s in now.”
Stephen Murray, who scored a hattrick in the earlier victory, came through training this week after recovering from a slight hamstring strain that kept him out of the defeat at Solitude and is available as is Sammy Clingan who doesn’t play on the plastic surfaces.
Car Park Reminder
Supporters are reminded that the Car Park will close at 7:15pm and no cars will be admitted after that time.
A bucket collection will take place prior to the game in aid of local school girl Mia Brown. Mia was diagnosed in 2016 with scolisios this causes the spine to twist and curve, if left untreated it will start to crush her internal organs. Without surgery Mia’s spine will continue to curve and any damage done to her organs will be irreversible. If you can’t make the match and would still like to donate something towards paying for this surgery you can do so here.
- Match Sponsor: Noel Cunningham
- Ball Sponsor: Diamond Elite Chauffeur Services
- Glenavon Man of the Match Sponsors: John McDowell & Brian Odgers
Last five league games
Glenavon: D L W D L
Coleraine: W D L L W
Head to Head
Last 10 games in all competitions
Glenavon: P10 W2 D5 L3 F15 A15, Average goals per game: 3.0
Stats a Fact
Games between the Lurgan Blues and the Bannsiders are usually hard-fought, close encounters.
- In the last 90 games between the sides in all competitions Glenavon has won 31 and Coleraine has won 33 with 26 draws.
- The goals for and against columns are also close: Glenavon edging it with 132 goals against 125 for Coleraine.
- The games have averaged almost 3 goals a game (2.9)
Referee: Lee Tavinder, Assistants: Stephen Bell and Gareth Eakin, 4th Official: Barry Monaghan
Lee Tavinder is taking charge of a Glenavon game for the third time this season.