Following last Saturday’s shock 6-2 defeat at the hands of newly promoted Carrick Rangers, Glenavon welcomes the other promoted side, Larne, to Mourneview Park tomorrow for match 19 in this season’s Danske Bank Premiership, kick-off 3pm. Having been humbled 6-0 in the previous meeting at Inver Park, Gary Hamilton will be urging his players to get back to the way they played in the wins against Linfield and Institute before that Taylor’s Avenue debacle.
“We let everybody down last week. We let the supporters down especially and the Chairman and Directors and they let themselves down, individually and as a group. They’d performed well over the previous two games, they’d the chance of maybe making it three wins in a row but they didn’t show up and perform. I keep telling them ‘No matter who you’re playing, if you don’t show up and be at 100% then the chances are the other team will beat you’ and Saturday was another example of that. Hopefully they’ve learnt from last week and tomorrow they’ll go out with a different mindset and they’ll start the game the way they started against Linfield and Institute and not leaving it until 20 or 30 minutes into the game when it’s too late then.”
Referring to Tuesday’s Mid-Ulster Cup semifinal 4-0 victory against Warrenpoint Gary said “I thought that was more like us. The disappointing thing is the lack of consistency this year; there’s no point playing well for two games then bad for a game and then well a game – we have to get consistency in all our games.
“At Carrick too many people didn’t perform on the day and we can’t have that. Listen, anybody can go to Carrick and get beat but you should never be going and getting beaten 6-2. It’s not acceptable and that’s where the performance levels and the desire and the hunger isn’t there because you don’t get beat 6-2 if it is there.
“We owe the supporters, the Chairman and the Directors a performance tomorrow. You can get beaten by anyone in the Irish League but at least if you show a bit of fight and determination and spirit and that you’re up for the game, people can accept that if you get beat but they won’t accept last week when we got beat 6-2.”
Seamus Sharkey has returned to training and will obviously need some game time in the Reserves before he makes his return to the first team squad. The only other doubt for tomorrow is Conor McCloskey who picked up a dead leg in the mid-week Mid-Ulster Cup win.
Foodbank Collection & Carol Service
Supporters are reminded that once again they have an opportunity to support the local Craigavon Foodbank. Donations can be left inside the turnstiles at the Home end or at the hut inside the main gate.
The Salvation Army will be playing festive tunes before the match and at half-time and taking part in the post-match annual Carol Service. All supporters are encouraged to support those Salvation Army members who will be holding a bucket collection with the proceeds going to support their work.
Head to Head
Last ten games in all competitions
Glenavon: W1 D2 L7 F11 A25, Average goals per game = 3.6
The 6-0 victory for Larne at Inver Park last time out is the only time the sides have met during Gary Hamilton’s tenure. The previous meeting between the sides was back in January 2008 when a Glenavon side under manager Terry Cochrane lost 2-3 at Mourneview Park in a league match.
Last five league games
Glenavon: L L W W L
Larne: W D W D L
- Match Sponsor: Noel Cunningham
- Ball Sponsor: Moira Equestrian Centre
- Man of the Match Sponsor: Mark Baxter
Referee: Robert Harvey, Assistants: Wayne McDonnell, Mark Gavin, 4th Official: Tim Marshall
Today’s referee is 31 year old Dubliner Robert Harvey. Promoted to the FIFA International Referees list in January 2016, this season Harvey has officiated in three Europa League games including one against Glenavon’s opponents in last season’s competition, Molde.