NEW signing Guy Bates put in a fantastic display in his first competitive game for Glenavon.
The forward was a constant handful for his experienced marker Barry Holland, doing well to win and control any long ball to the forward and hold it up for the midfielders to catch up.
Playing a lone role up front, Bates was forced to do a lot of work but did well to bring the midfield into the game when he could. He certainly has a football brain and was keen to look for the smart passes but also ready to work space and fire in a shot when within range of the goal.
He should even have won a penalty in the first half after he was hauled down in the box.
Manager Gary Hamilton was delighted with the performance of his new signing, along with many others.
“It’s hard to single anyone out but Guy was excellent,” said Hamilton.
“Any front-man will tell you, playing up front on your own is the worst job in the world. He caused them all sorts of trouble all day and he deserved to get a goal but unfortunately he didn’t. His build-up play and work for the team was brilliant.
“Eddie McCallion came in and played his first game like he has been at the club for two or three years. Mark Turkington has had two training sessions and played 45 minutes so to then come in and play he did on Saturday was brilliant. Not many people could do that. It was a major boost for him to play the way he did.
“Ciaran Doherty, from the staff’s point of view, was immense. I’m singling players out and I don’t want to do that because every single player did well.”
Youngster Jordan Dane also made a great start to his Glenavon career, despite an extremely harsh sending off in the second half. The Armagh Milk Cup star played in the Blues’ five-man defence alongside the solid Sean McCashin and Robbie White and did a great job of marking former Werder Bremen forward Liam Boyce.
Gaffer Gary Hamilton is rightly optimistic for the future of the club with the quality of young players coming through.
He said: “Jordan is only 16 and he had a fantastic debut. He didn’t deserve to be sent off but these things happen in football and one thing’s for sure, he can be very proud of his performance.
“Singleton came on and you wouldn’t think he’s 16 either, the way he played.”