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Annagh United have holders Cliftonville in their sights as next shock

By Graham Luney

Published 12/10/2016

Big impact: Jordan Campbell was on target for Annagh United against Glentoran
Big impact: Jordan Campbell was on target for Annagh United against Glentoran

Annagh United coach Dean Smith is hoping it will be "third time lucky" for his side tonight as they set out to end Cliftonville's stranglehold on the League Cup.

In the last two seasons the Championship side have dumped Glenavon and Glentoran out of the competition and now the Reds, who have lifted the trophy for four years in a row, are in their sights.

The stunning 3-2 win over the Glens at the end of August sparked the departure of Alan Kernaghan from the Oval hotseat, and another historic night at Tandragee Road is being planned.

There will no element of surprise this time, however, with Gerard Lyttle and his men well aware of how the Glens were put to the sword.

And the hosts, who are second from bottom of the Championship, will hope the visitors will leave their shooting boots at home after smashing 11 goals past Lisburn Distillery in the previous round.

"I think the surprise factor has been taken away from us after we beat the Glens," admitted Smith. "But our mentality will be the same as that game. This is a free one for us and all the pressure is in the other dressing room.

"The message to the players is simply go out and enjoy the occasion, give it your best and let's see if we defeat another Premiership side. The team talk will be similar as it's our opponents who have everything to lose and very few people are going to give us any chance of beating Cliftonville."

Little Annagh were without a win when they conquered a strong Glentoran team who were under severe pressure to get a result after a poor start to the campaign. "It was a fantastic night and Glentoran showed us respect by putting out a strong team," added Smith. "After beating Glenavon and then Glentoran this season we are hoping it will be third time lucky."

• FORMER Cliftonville hero Barry Johnston is set to take charge of the Reds' Under-17 team alongside Fra Brennan.

Johnston has left his role as Carrick Rangers coach after manager Kieran Harding's exit.

• Kevin McHugh has been forced to retire after losing a finger in a freak accident.

The Finn Harps striker and former Derry City favourite got his wedding ring caught in a fence during a coaching session in Donegal.

Belfast Telegraph

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