Hard graft the key for Welders test

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton

Will Glenavon have learned from their shock Irish Cup defeat at H&W Welders last season - that is the challenge that awaits on Saturday at Tillysburn Park.

The message is quite simple from manager Gary Hamilton - hard graft is what is required and in abundance.

“This is a game you have to be prepared to work so hard in. You have to match them in every area of the pitch,” said boss Hamilton.

“We are not going down there to knock the ball about and expect our quality to be enough. We have that little bit of quality, but that counts for nothing if you do not battle.

“We didn’t have the right attitude last year in the round before at Moyola and got away with it but we didn’t learn from it against the Welders and were well beaten on the day.

“They are having another good season and won the Steel and Sons Cup recently. They are very strong and formidableon their compact home pitch.

“Conditions too will be a factor, but we have to forget about that, it is the same playing conditions for both teams.”

Only four of the present playing squad started at Tillysburn last season - Conor Dillon, Simon Kelly, Declan O’Brien and Kevin Braniff - whoever plays on Saturday will be under no illusion just how difficult a test this will be.

“It is vital we don’t get beaten. The last thing we want is to make the same mistake as last year and go out before we get a run going.”

If the weather was to force the tie to be postponed it could mean the game being switched to Mourneview Park.

Under IFA rules the tie will go to the club who has floodlights and with the Welders not having any a midweek game in Lurgan is the likely outcome.

However, Glenavon and their fans must plan for an early 1.30pm kick-off on Saturday.

The William Walker and Victoria Supporters Clubs are sharing a bus to Tillysburn on Saturday.

It will leave Mourneview Park at noon.

A spokesman for H&W Welders said, “Any buses going to the game will be stopped at the main gate and then they will park across the road and all fans will have to walk the short distance to the gates for entry.”