Preview: Glenavon v Crusaders

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All Primary school kids will get in free if accompanied by a paying adult.

Please note: The game kicks off at 2:35pm

Glenavon and Tuesday’s visitors Crusaders met just two weeks ago in the Irish Cup semifinal, the Lurgan Blues emerging 3-1 winners after extra time. Since then both sides have lost both their league games, the Crues going down 3-2 at home to Linfield and losing 3-0 at the Oval on Saturday. Glenavon lost 3-0 at Shamrock Park and went down to a harsh 5-0 score line to the title favourites Cliftonville at the weekend.

Speaking after the Solitude defeat, Gary Hamilton said “Most of the goals for Cliftonville came from our mistakes and every mistake we made they seemed to score from but, as long as the young players listen to what they’ve been told and don’t make the same mistakes again, they have every chance of making an impact the way Rhys Marshall and James Singleton have. It’s a good thing that we’ve got a game so soon as that will hopefully show that they’ve learned from their mistakes. I couldn’t question the effort and commitment and we’ll need plenty of that again on Tuesday.”

James Singleton and Kris Lindsay are both suspended for Glenavon after totting up 5 cautions and Colin Coates is banned for Crusaders after he was sent off against Glentoran on Saturday.

Cup Final tickets will be on sale on Tuesday from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. Over 1000 were sold on Saturday morning so supporters are advised to purchase their tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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 Match Officials

TBC

FT: Cliftonville 5-0 Glenavon

Across the back for Glenavon its Sean McIlhone in nets with Kyle Neill, Eddie McCallion, William Murphy and teenager Owen McKeown at right back. The midfield is Patton, Kilmartin, Martyn, Sykes and McCaul with Mulvenna leading the line up front.

Eddie McCallion and Gary Hamilton reflect on a harsh scoreline for Glenavon.

Interview vidGlenavon made a decent start but were caught by a swift counterattack in the 5th minute as Liam Boyce’s super through ball picked out his strike partner Joe Gormley and, possibly with the help of a hand on the referee’s blindside, controlled the ball and rifled a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. That goal made it 37 goals for the season, a new club record for the Reds

Lone Glenavon striker Tiarnan Mulvenna put a back post header back across the goal and just wide after he was picked out by good cross from Mark Sykes in the 14th minute. Brian McCaul’s 18th minute corner was flicked goal-wards at the near post by Mulvenna with Boyce blocking it on the goal line.

Sykes then had a shot blocked before Andy Kilmartin made a brilliant tackle in the Glenavon box to deny Donnelly who would have been shooting from 8 yards.

Ten minutes before the interval a McCallionn free kick into the Reds box was headed across goal by Murphy with Ciaran Martyn glancing the ball just wide at the other post. Moments later McCallion had to be alert to turn out a dangerous Chris Curran ball across the box as Gormley lurked with intent at the far post.

Another bright start to the second half by Glenavon with Devlin punching the ball off Martyn’s head but once again the Champions had the answer. After Murphy was adjudged to have fouled Gormley just outside the box and Donnelly bent his left foot free kick round the wall and beat the despairing dive of the young Glenavon keeper.

Reds defender Mark Smyth smashed in the third goal in the 65th minute after Glenavon failed to deal with Curran’s corner and the ball went all the way through to the unmarked centre half.

In the 89th minute Mulvenna had a great chance to score a consolation for Glenavon after McDaid played him in but he shot straight at the body of Devlin.

To rub salt in the wounds Garrett glanced in a header in the 90th minute from Donnelly’s cross and Donnelly himself fired in a 5th in stoppage time with the last kick of the game after Seydak cut the ball back from the byeline.

Cliftonville: Devlin, McGovern, Smyth, McGovern, R Scannell, Donnelly, Johnston, McMullan (c), Curran, Boyce, Gormley. Subs: Garrett, O’Carroll, Winchester, Cosgrove, Murray

Glenavon: McIlhone, Neill, McCallion (c), Murphy, O McKeown, Patton, Kilmartin, Martyn, Sykes, McCaul, Mulvenna. Subs: McDaid, McIlveen, Hoey, Dane, Rea

Referee: Andrew Davey

Preview: Cliftonville v Glenavon

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Gary Hamilton has called on the Glenavon fans to continue to stay behind the team as the season reaches a climax over the next week. “The fans support has been vital to us this season and it’s really important that the supporters continue to get behind the team and to keep the players’ spirits high as we near the Cup Final. All players, whether its our young stars or the experienced players, need the fans support and encouragement and this group of players, who have got us to the final, really deserve that support in every game, win lose or draw.

“I take responsibility for the decisions I’ve had to make. We’d love to play a full strength squad in every game from now to the end of the season but we have injuries and suspensions to consider and, frankly, we must prioritize the cup, the biggest game for the club in years, with a great chance of European football.

“Tomorrow I have literally one fit striker at my disposal. Tiarnan Mulvenna has returned to training and Robbie McDaid is just coming back to fitness but myself, Guy Bates and Davy Rainey are all out injured. James Singleton, Kris Lindsay, Gareth McKeown and Andy McGrory are also injured. It’s not a question of resting anyone; the guys simply aren’t fit and we have two weeks to get them back for the Cup Final.”

For the Reds, Ryan Catney is suspended but Tommy Breslin welcomes back his influential captain George McMullan following a foot injury.

Match Officials

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Andrew Davey James Eakin Mark O’Brien Keith Kennedy

Tickets for Linfield Game

Tickets for the final league game of the season, Glenavon v Linfield, on Saturday 26th April, will be on sale this Saturday morning between 10:30 and 12:30 am at Mourneview Park. Supporters are reminded that this game has been designated all-ticket and are urged to purchase tickets as soon as possible as this fixture is likely to be a sell out.

Season ticket holders must obtain a ticket which will be provided free upon sight of their season ticket.

Games over Easter

Glenavon face a tough trip to Solitude this Saturday to face reigning Champions and current league leaders Cliftonville, followed by the penultimate league game of the season, on Easter Tuesday, when Crusaders are the visitors to Mourneview Park.

Please note that the Easter Tuesday game kicks off at 2:30 pm and there will be free admission for all Primary school kids.