Joe ready for first team says McMahon

RESERVE boss Gerard McMahon has called on club manager Marty Quinn to give striker Joe Finlay a chance in the first team.

Quinn’s men have so far struggled for goals this season and with the Reserves netting four in each of their two games last week, Finlay deserves his chance, says McMahon.

“Maybe it’s time to give him a chance in the first team, even if it’s just bringing him on for 10 minutes when you need to get a goal,” he told the ‘MAIL.’

“Joe’s been doing well. He is ready to step up now and he’s shown that in the past too. He’s played six games for the first team and has scored six goals. It doesn’t matter who he’s playing against, he can get in the right place at the right time. He’s a predatory forward who can get goals.

“He probably didn’t do as well last season because he had to do a lot of the link-up play for us but now we’ve got Gerard Rooney or Michael McKee doing that for him so he can stay up around the box. He’s a goal-scorer.”

Finlay was instrumental in his side’s respective 4-2 and 4-0 victories over Carrick and Portadown last week, netting in each game.

As goals from Mark Miskimmin, Jonny Magee, Fra Brennan and Finlay secured the 4-2 victory away to Carrick, McMahon was full of praise for midfield duo Anto McGonnell and Ciaran Doherty as well as left-back Declan McVeigh.

“We played reasonably well against a good Carrick side,” he said.

“They were sitting joint top of the table with Linfield before the game after beating Cliftonville and Crusaders so they had been doing well.

“I was delighted with the win and it could have been an even bigger one but Mark Miskimmin missed two penalties. He worked very hard though and I was going to take him off after about an hour but he pleaded with me to keep him on so that he could get a goal, which he did near the end.

“Ciaran Doherty and Anto McGonnell were outstanding together in midfield and Declan McVeigh did very well at left-back too. Declan is a regular but he’s sort of shifted about different positions and he’s outstanding every time.

“He’s been improving a lot this season. Last year I’d maybe have said he was behind the likes of Mark Carson but now he’s as good as those guys.

“In midfield, I know what I’m going to get from Ciaran Doherty. He cruises through Reserve level now and is ready for first team football. If you want a creative midfielder, Ciaran Doherty’s your man.

“He gets stuck in too and is good in the air as he started out as a centre-back. He can mix it as good as he can pass it.”

Glenavon Reserves were without Doherty, who was with the first team, for the game against Portadown but that didn’t seem to hold them back as they romped to a thumping 4-0 win.

Goals from Joe Finlay, Michael McKee, Mark Carson and Fra Brennan ensured a comfortable victory, but as McMahon told the ‘MAIL,’ it could and should have been an even larger scoreline.

“We did well and passed the ball about well. 4-0 probably flattered Portadown a bit because we created a lot of chances and probably should have taken more of them,” he said.

“It was 0-0 at half-time and we could have been five or six nil up at that point.

“Declan McVeigh and Anto McGonnell stood out again but it was a good all-round team performance. Michael McKee came in for his first league start of the season, played well and got a goal.

“We had no first team players against Portadown but they had a young team as well. They only had one first team player, Garry Breen who played 45 minutes.”