Glenavon drawing gains beyond final score

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton was keen to look beyond the final score on Saturday and instead highlight rewards not measured by statistics.

A significant injury list left the Lurgan Blues with another reshuffled pack against a Crusaders side who entered the weekend programme level at the head of the standings.

Having battled back from 1-0 down, Glenavon turned the tables to hold a 2-1 advantage ahead of an injury-time sucker-punch.

“Everybody would have looked before the game on Crusaders as a banker for a win,” said Hamilton. “But I believe in my players.

“Yes, we haven’t been performing to our best this season but you have to understand we’ve not been able to get a settled side.

“The three games we didn’t change our back four we got two wins and a performance away to Crusaders when we should not have lost.

“It’s really difficult when having to chop and change but, when bang on it, those players are good enough to compete with any team.

“It’s tough getting that extra percentage out of players under such difficult circumstances but it comes down to belief.

“If we turn up with only some performing you’re not going to get anything against a club like Crusaders.

“We were unfortunate to be going in at half-time a goal down then I thought we dominated the second half.

“The ball was in their half most of the game, Crusaders hit us a couple of times on the counter-attack and James Taylor pulled off a great save but, on the flip side, look at the chances we created.

“We had a definite shout for a penalty too but I’m just delighted with the performance of the individuals, including the three substitutes.

“The other night’s performance (in the League Cup exit to Newry City AFC) wasn’t acceptable.

“When given chances players have to take them as otherwise it’s going to be difficult to get back into the team - and even harder when other players come back from injury.

“Too many didn’t the other night but we got reactions today and it was pleasing they took it on the chin and when Conor McCloskey and Stephen Murray came on they were excellent.

“It’s a massive disappointment conceding so late on but we’ve come away with a point and disappointed not to come away with three.

“No matter the result, I was so happy to see that performance.

“It’s so important to get ahead in games but today we found ourselves behind but then got back into it and looked like a team with confidence, not one on the run we’ve been in.”