Glenavon blocking Black’s route to final
Any fixture against Glenavon is one that Aaron Black looks forward to and, with a chance to make progress to his first cup final, tonight will be no different.
The Crusaders midfielder goes into tonight's Co-operative Insurance Cup third round first-leg tie still hoping to make his first final appearance in this country in a competition his team mates almost won last season.
Black has netted in each of his last three tussles with his former club and is relishing tonight's encounter.
He scored both goals in Crusaders’ 2-0 win over the Lurgan outfit at Seaview earlier in the season, but knows they are not to be taken lightly.
"Glenavon is a club where I have had good and bad times, but it's a great club," he admitted.
"On paper they have some very, very good players and we're certainly not going to be taking them lightly.
"We've beaten them 2-0 in the league and no doubt they'll be out for revenge on that one.
"They've lost a few on the bounce recently, but I'm told they did well on Saturday against Glentoran, so we know they have quality.
"It's a tie that’s played over two legs, so it's unlikely that either team will be out of by the end of the first game. Crusaders made the final of this competition last year and I'm sure everyone at the club would love to again and so would I. it would be the first final I have had in Northern Ireland," said the midfielder who has played in Scotland and the Caribbean.
Black admits that it has been an excellent start to season, since his summer move from Larne, but insists it could have been even better.
"To be honest I still think we've dropped points at times and I don't think it would have been an injustice if we were sitting with maximum points. It's great to be up there in the League, but we'll just take things as they come."
Black has been a mainstay in Crusaders’ early season success story, helping himself to a couple of goals early on too.
Seaview boss Stephen Baxter has bemoaned the lack of depth in his squad as a factor that will work against them mounting a serious challenge for the Premiership title.
He has boosted his numbers, however, with the arrival of former Linfield and Portadown midfielder Jamie Marks, whose experience will be a real asset if the Crues are to stay in the hunt for the big prize.
Elsewhere tonight in-form Championship side Ards will host Gerry Flynn's Newry City, at Dixon Park. Tommy Kincaid's men will fancy causing an upset having won 13 out of their last 14 outings.
Newry are the Premiership’s draw specialists, having tied more than half their games and they woul probably settle for that tonight.