Glenavon could seal their spot in the European play-offs this Saturday against Mid-Ulster rivals Portadown.

Any result that equals or betters Ballymena United’s result against Carrick Rangers will be enough to secure seventh spot in the league, with the Lurgan Blues restoring their four-point advantage over the Sky Blues on Tuesday night.

“It was a big, big result for us on Tuesday night and all the credit goes to the players, particularly after Saturday’s performance at Dungannon,” manager Gary Hamilton told Glenavon Media after the 1-0 win against Carrick Rangers.

“We gave them a bit of a going over at half time and told them that they needed to get that winning mentality back and start getting nasty all over the pitch, winning second balls.

“Sometimes it’s not all about playing football – as much as we want to look good in possession and have time on the ball, sometimes it can be about the other side of the game, especially against teams like Carrick who can be difficult.

“In the first half we weren’t doing that but thankfully we turned it around in the second half.”

Of course the fact that the game is a Mid-Ulster derby adds a little bit of spice to the occasion. Glenavon are unbeaten against the Ports this season but that’s not something that is being taken for granted.

“They’re the games that we all want to play in but it’s a bit more difficult for us because Ballymena don’t have any derby games in the split,” Gary added.

“Anything can happen in derby games but it’s a fixture that the players have to look forward to.

“We want to get the job done as soon as possible in terms of securing that play-off spot. That’s what we will be asking the players to do and hopefully they can go out and do that.

“It’s a big day for the supporters too, there’ll be a great atmosphere about the place and hopefully the boys can give them something to be happy about.”

In terms of player news, Glenavon will be without the injured trip of Andy Hall, Conor McCloskey and Jamie Doran.

Supporters are reminded that there will be live music after the game in the Bedeck by Alice La for those who want to keep their derby day going into the evening!

LAST TIME OUT: Glenavon comfortably defeated Mid-Ulster rivals Portadown 3-0 at Mourneview Park.

All three goals came in the first half, with captain James Singleton breaking the deadlock on 15 minutes when he headed home from a Michael O’Connor corner.

Again it was a corner that led to the second goal, as Mark Haughey converted from Peter Campbell’s delivery in the 35thminute.

Conor McCloskey added a third just before half-time when his low shot from outside the box beat substitute goalkeeper Harry Doherty.

The visitors finished the game with 10 men after midfielder Katlego Mashigo was shown a straight red card following an incident involving Glenavon’s Robert Garrett in the 53rdminute.


REFEREE: Ross Dunlop

ASSISTANT REFEREE: Jamie Carnduff, Kristian Hanna



MATCH SPONSOR: Milne Funeral Services

BALL SPONSOR: Clippers Grooming Parlour, Donaghcloney