Chance to bounce back

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton - hoping his team can bounce back at The Oval.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton - hoping his team can bounce back at The Oval.

Shell-shocked Glenavon will have to regroup quickly following their League Cup exit and focus on Saturday’s testing trip to The Oval.

Fans will still be baffled at how the Lurgan Blues lost their drama filled cup tie against Ards on Tuesday night, they showed great character and resilience before bowing out on penalties.

However, the fact they were able to dig deep and haul back a three goal deficit shows just how far this team has come in recent seasons.

Glentoran inflicted the first league defeat of the season on Gary Hamilton’s men, winning 2-1 at Mourneview Park back in August.

The Blues have only won one of their last four league outings and haven’t got a victory at The Oval since August 1999. Those stats, however, don’t bother Gary Hamilton ahead of his side’s trip to East Belfast.

He said: “Glenavon hadn’t beaten Glentoran at home in over 11 years until we came to the club either. We’ve overcome a lot of these types of records since we came to Glenavon.

“Now we’re more capable of going to places like the Oval and winning.”

Assistant manager Paul Millar expects Glenavon to put Tuesday’s disappointment behind them. “We had our best opening 20 minutes for six weeks and suddenly found ourselves 3-0 down. I knew we had the ability to come back. However, we are going to have to work on keeping clean sheets and that will be crucial for Saturday. We’d love a 1-0 win - that would be perfect. In the past we may have gone there hoping for a point, now we can aim higher with the quality we have in the team and a game like this is a great chance to bounce back.”

Congratulations to Glenavon’s Andrew Hoey who’s been called into the Northern Ireland Under 17 squad for the upcoming European Championship games.

He joins former Glenavon Academy player Gary Lavery, now at Cardiff City, in the squad for games against Latvia, Turkey and Luxembourg.