Glenavon return to action on Friday night against Dungannon Swifts and once again the Mourneview Park directors are hoping to attract those supporters who are unable to attend on Saturday afternoons.
Chairman Adrian Teer explains further. “This is the second of our planned Friday night games. We were very pleased by the attendance at the first, against Ballinamallard in October, and although the result was disappointing it was encouraging that so many of our supporters who either work on Saturdays or are involved in junior or intermediate football made the effort to attend. In recent years games against the Swifts have provided excellent entertainment and hopefully this will again be the case on Friday night.”
Tickets for the Boxing Day game against Portadown will be on sale prior to the game. Season ticker holders can obtain a ticket free of charge on production of their 2013/14 season ticket.
The Glenavon Board has today issued the following statement:
“Following discussions with the relevant authorities it has been confirmed that the Boxing Day game against Portadown will be all ticket. Tickets will go on sale at the club office from Monday 25th November; the office is open from 9 30 am to 12 noon Monday to Thursday.
“Tickets are priced at £10 adult and £7 concession. Season ticket holders can obtain a ticket free of charge on production of their 2013/14 season ticket.
“It is anticipated that this game, as with recent Boxing Day derbies, will be a sell out and supporters are therefore urged to obtain their ticket well in advance.”
Gary Hamilton, speaking to the Lurgan Mail’s Gary Ellis, was disappointed with some of the decisions but he thought his team deserved to get something from the game.
Rhys Marshall put Glenavon in front in the 17th minute with his third goal for the club. Mark Patton’s corner had been punched back out to him by Jonathan Tuffey and the young right back sent a looping header back into the opposite side of the net as the Glenavon winger crossed the ball to the far post.
Andy Kilmartin congratulates Rhys MArshall after the youngster had put Glenavon in front. Photo by Alan Weir.
In the 26th minute Mark McAllister headed straight at John Connolly after James Knowles had chipped a great ball into the box for him.
In the 39th minute a long Gareth McKeown was flicked on by William Murphy and Guy Bates then directed a header towards goal but it was held easily by Tuffey. Minutes later a mixup in the Linfield defence between Sean Ward and Matt Clarke saw the ball given straight to McGrory but Clarke got back to cut out his through ball.
In the 41st minutes Glenavon had strong claims for a penalty when Patton’s shot was handled in the box by Kyle McVey but the referee was unmoved.
A minute from the break BJ Burns played the ball through for Andy Waterworth and he tried to lift it over Connolly but the ball drifted across the goal and was dealt with by Murphy. On the stroke of half time Connolly had to come out to smother a low shot from Waterworth after Michael Carvill had played him in, Murphy putting the ball out for a corner as it spun off the Glenavon keeper.
Glenavon Captain William Murphy dominated in the air. Photo by Alan Weir.
Brian McCaul wasted a great chance for the equaliser just two minutes into the second half when he ran onto a square pass from Waterworth but hit a sidefoot effort into the side netting from 6 yards out.
McAllister made up for his earlier miss when he headed in from a Knowles corner which came after Connolly had made a brave save at the feet of Waterworth.
Seconds later Glenavon broke and Tuffey spilled a shot from McGrory but managed to gather it before Martyn could nick it. In the 62nd minute McCabe broke down the centre and fed Patton who cut inside onto his right and curled a shot just wide. Three minutes later McGrory volleyed Marshall’s cross into the net but he was flagged offside.
Waterworth put the home side in front six minutes from time as Mulgrew played him with Glenavon looking for an offside decision.
Aaron Burns made it 3-1 in the 88th minute as he cut along the bye-line before managing to squeeze a shot past Connolly from what looked an impossible angle.
David Rainey netted in the 89th minute following a long throw in that was flicked on at the near post by Gary Hamilton and the striker then went close with an overhead kick from another long throw as Glenavon pressed for an equaliser.
Glenavon faces another tough away trip on Saturday as Gary Hamilton and his squad head to Windsor Park following a rare 0-0 draw at The Oval last weekend. The hosts were on the end of the shock result of the day, losing 1-0 to Dungannon Swifts so Gary knows his team will need to be on top of their game as David Jeffrey will be looking for a response from his players.
“If we get a similar performance to last week’s I’ll be happy,” Gary told us this afternoon. “It was a good result; it’s just a pity we didn’t create more chances but the most pleasing thing was the clean sheet, which is something we’ve been after for some time. If we can go to Windsor and put in the same defensive performance it gives us a platform to build on.
“We’ll be wary of a backlash after they lost in the League Cup on penalties and lost in the league last week. Linfield rarely lose three on the trot but our lads have confidence from last week’s performance and if we keep our shape and work hard as a good defensive unit and keep it 0-0 their fans can get on their backs and maybe we can create a few more chances on the break but we’ll all need to be on top of our game.”
William Murphy makes his first return to Windsor since he left Linfield after a glittering career in which he made 639 appearances. “Winkie will not be overawed and he’ll want to do a professional job as he always has done,” Gary concluded.
“Linfield are top of the league for a reason but people will have thought we had no chance going to the Oval. We got a good point there and could have nicked the game. Gary Hamilton will have us well fired up and focused. Who knows what could happen?” Murphy told the Lurgan Mail this week.
The last game between the teams, at Mourneview Park at the beginning of October, finished in a 3-1 win for the visitors after a Guy Bates goal had given the Lurgan Blues the lead in the 22nd minute.
Reminder:You can claim half price entry to tomorrow’s match on production of a Dankse Bank Credit or Debit Card.
Referee: Mervyn Smyth, Assistants: Tom McKnight, Mark O’Brien, 4th Official: Hugh Carvill