Glenavon travel to Taylor’s Avenue tonight knowing they need to win to keep their European play-off hopes in tact.

Were Glenavon to win this evening and if Ballymena United were to drop points to Warrenpoint Town, then seventh spot would be secured for the Lurgan Blues.

If both sides win then it would go down to the final day of the season, although Glenavon would maintain a three-point advantage over the Sky Blues.

However, Gary Hamilton’s focus remains on the task in hand.

“Carrick is another massive game. We have to make sure that we’re ready,” he said.

“They have lost their manager and a new manager has come in. We always see that players give a reaction in those circumstances.

“It’s not going to be an easy task, it never is down there. We have to make sure that we are mentally prepared and perform in the way we have done over the last number of games.”

Glenavon will be without the services of the injured Gareth McCaffrey, Colin Coates and Michael O’Connor for the game.

However, last week’s Mid-Ulster Cup games have provided a boost for the rest of the squad, providing valuable game time as the end of the season draws nearer.

“It’s given a few of them game time so that if we get to the European play-offs they’ve got another 90 minutes under their belt,” said Gary.

“That’s two or three games they’ve been able to get in over the last few weeks, which is good, especially when they’ve been out for so long.

“It’s been particularly good for the likes of Calum Birney and Lee McNulty, Conan Byrne and Robbie Norton,” he added.

Tonight’s game kicks off at 7.45pm.


REFEREE: Lee Tavinder

ASSISTANT REFEREES: George Argyropoulos, Ken Ross


LAST TIME OUT: It was a case of history repeating itself as Glenavon and Carrick Rangers drew 1-1 at Mourneview Park for the second time in the space of a fortnight on Tuesday evening.

Back on 16th February it was Glenavon who took an early lead before being reduced to 10 men, with Carrick going on to equalise and secure a point.

On this occasion it was the visitors who went in front on nine minutes when captain Daniel Kelly headed home from a Kyle Cherry free-kick.

Niall Currie’s men then had Chris Rodgers shown a straight red card for hauling down Matthew Fitzpatrick as the Glenavon striker bore down on goal.

Colin Coates drew the Lurgan Blues level three minutes into the second half when he slammed the ball home following an Andy Hall cross.

The Mourneview men had the perfect opportunity to grab all three points when substitute Conan Byrne won a penalty when he was tripped by Steven Gordon in the 80th minute. However, Michael O’Connor, who had previously been very reliable from 12 yards this season, saw his spot-kick saved by Carrick goalkeeper Aaron Hogg.