Matchday Guide: Glenavon
COLERAINE are on their travels for the final time before the league split as they make the journey to Glenavon this afternoon (KO 3pm)…
Danske Bank Premiership
The Bannsiders would lose out on securing the BetMcLean Cup for the third time in the club’s history after a 2-0 defeat by Linfield at Windsor Park. A couple of second-half goals from Joel Cooper and Chris Shields meant the trophy was won by the Blues as Coleraine lost in the showpiece decider for a second year in a row. The Stripes were last in Danske Bank Premiership duty on March 7 and despite beating Ballymena United, they now find themselves 6th in the standings.
Glenavon have improved in recent weeks and have picked up seven points from their last three Danske Bank Premiership fixtures. The Lurgan Blues picked up an impressive 2-0 victory against Glentoran at The Oval last weekend as Conor McCloskey and Matthew Fitzpatrick found the back of the net. Gary Hamilton’s side are 8th in the table and will want to finish one better to ensure they have a crack at securing European football next season.
Glenavon travelled to the north coast in the first meeting between the two sides this season and left with a deserved three points. After Jamie Glackin would see a shot saved by Rory Brown, the visitors would also go close as Peter Campbell misfired when well positioned inside the area. However, Campbell would go one better on 26 minutes as he fired into the bottom corner from Conor McCloskey’s cut back. The Bannsiders would hit back twelve minutes later as Matthew Shevlin was fouled inside the area by Brown. This led to referee Shane Andrews pointing to the spot as Shevlin smashed home his sixth goal of the season. Gary Hamiton’s side would go back in front on 47 minutes as a strike from Robbie Garrett took a wicked deflection off Rodney Brown and went into the net via the post. Minutes later, Matthew Fitzpatrick would spurn a glorious chance as he fired wide from Isaac Baird’s through ball. Just after the hour mark, Coleraine would fall further behind as a ball over the top by Michael Glynn released the run of Fitzpatrick and the ex-Bannsider found the bottom corner.
In November, Coleraine would be the visitors to Mourneview Park as the two teams played out a goalless draw. The Bannsiders would enjoy a quick start and threatened twice through Aaron Jarvis, as well as Josh Carson firing over from Michael McCrudden’s cross. Glenavon would then create two big opportunities of their own as Eoin Bradley failed to get a meaningful touch onto Danny Wallace’s cross, with Matthew Fitzpatrick blazing over after being found by Peter Campbell. Coleraine would hit the woodwork before half-time through McCrudden’s close range effort, with Bradley seeing a strike being turned around the post early in the second-half. The Lurgan Blues would then have two chances cleared off the line by Kieran Farren, with Campbell and Fitzpatrick both guilty of failing to find the back of the net with two further openings. The Stripes would nearly win it at the death as McCrudden headed inches over from Evan McLaughlin’s cross.
“There’s still a lot to play for,” Kearney said.
“That’s a hard thing to think about in the immediate aftermath of a Cup Final defeat, but we can’t afford to spend time feeling sorry for ourselves.
“We suffered this disappointment in last year’s Final when we lost 4-3 to Cliftonville, but this is a different type of frustration as we lost in a very different way.
“We need to pick ourselves up as quickly as possible because at the very least we will have a European Play-Off at the end of the season.”
The match referee is Jamie Robinson.
The assistant referees are Brian Wilson and John Doherty.
Andrew Davey has been allocated as fourth official.
Supporters are advised that entry is via ticket only HERE.
If you are not feeling yourself this afternoon and you have symptoms which you feel are similar to COVID-19, please stay away from the stadium and think of others.
As ever, those unable to watch the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).