On Tuesday 16th January 2024 Glenavon faces Portadown at Mourneview Park in the BetMcLean League Cup semi-finals. It is the first meeting between the clubs in the League Cup since 2005. Portadown has had an up and down season in the Championship. It currently occupies fourth place in the table with 13victories and one draw from 22 fixtures. In the BetMcLean League Cup, the Ports have beaten Coagh United (4-1), Crusaders (2-1) and Loughgall (2-0), all at Shamrock Park.

Glenavon boss Stephen McDonnell does not know what to expect from the West Craigavon outfit. “They, like us, have brought in a number of new faces during this Window,” he explained. “However, most of their new players are cup tied. Therefore, although we have watched their last two matches, it is very hard to know who they will select and how they will set up. We are going to have to wait and see.”

The Blues’ boss was encouraged by his team’s display against Carrick Rangers on Saturday. “It was always going to be a battle at Taylor’s Avenue,” he added. “They are a strong, physical side. We made sure that the players were prepared mentally as much as anything else to know ahead of time exactly what they were going to face. To be fair, none took a step back. When we had the ball, I thought that our quality shone through, and we thoroughly deserved to win the match.”

Stephen is under no illusions about the importance of the cup semi-final. “It is a massive opportunity for us,” he said. “To reach a Cup Final would be a huge achievement. The players are determined to do everything possible to make it happen.”

Glenavon’s Gareth Deane and Jamie Doran are both cuptied. However, Stephen thinks that Aaron Prendergast (knee) and Peter Campbell (dead leg) will probably be fit. Mark Haughey, Aaron Rogers, Conor McCloskey continue to recover from more serious injuries.

The match against Portadown is sponsored by Neil Dillon, Alistair Wells and Dean Kennedy.

The ball sponsor is the Leather Restoration Company. This Portadown-based business is a highly reputable restorer of leather items. The ‘Player of the Match’ sponsors are faithful supporters Barry Craig and Ethna Ferran.

Boardroom hospitality has been kindly sponsored by Cecil Haffey, Sportsgrounds Specialists.

Many thanks to all our sponsors.

Patrons are reminded NOT to bring flares into the stadium. Following the quarter-final at Coleraine in December, the I.F.A. reprimanded the club and issued a Notice of Complaint reference two flares thrown onto the pitch by Glenavon supporters. Within the last few weeks another Premiership club has received a substantial fine for reckless actions such as these. If Glenavon fans transgress again this season, the club will almost certainly face a significant fine or worse.