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Hamilton in plea for his boys to find that killer touch

By Graham Luney

Published 12/11/2016

Net gains: Glenavon player-manager Gary Hamilton has urged his side to be more ruthless in front of goal
Net gains: Glenavon player-manager Gary Hamilton has urged his side to be more ruthless in front of goal

Gary Hamilton hopes his Glenavon side can rediscover their ruthless streak in front of goal after the thrilling 3-3 draw with Crusaders in midweek.

The Lurgan Blues have quite a few goal machines in their ranks but they've not been putting teams to the sword like last season.

Ahead of today's trip to Ards, the former Northern Ireland international wants his players to keep their shooting boots on.

"You just need the rub of the green sometimes," he says. "In a lot of matches this season we should have won the game.

"Last season we were taking a lot of chances and outscoring teams quite a bit but this season we are conceding less but not scoring as freely. We have still got the players who can do that and hopefully they can go on a run of scoring goals.

"Last season we scored a lot of goals through set plays. We only finished with one player above 20 goals, and the next was 12 so if you look at it we got seven or eight goals from Andy Hall, Joel Cooper, Rhys Marshall, so goals come from all around the team and from a lot of set plays.

"I thought for Kyler (Neill) to come back after being out for so long with a cruciate injury and perform the way he did against Crusaders was fantastic. If you have a few boys who can deliver from set pieces in this league and players are brave enough to attack the ball it can make a difference. Kyle may be getting on in years and he may get found out at times against players like Gavin Whyte but he can see a lot of the ball he can play quality deliveries into the frontmen and his set pieces are massive for us."

Crusaders needed another late penalty stop from keeper Sean O'Neill to stop Glenavon grabbing the victory at the death.

"We have to take responsibility for not taking the three points against Linfield but against Crusaders I don't think we could have done any more," added Hamilton.

"We performed as well as we could have done against the top team in the country at this moment. Anyone watching the game would admit that we were the better side and deserved to win it. Unfortunately decisions went against us."

Glenavon will be without Kris Lindsay who was sent-off for protesting Raymond Hetherington's decision not to award a penalty for a challenge on Andy Hall when the score against Crusaders was 3-3.

Elsewhere in the Danske Bank Premiership title chasers Crusaders and Linfield have tricky away trips to Portadown and Dungannon Swifts respectively.

The Ports lie 10 points adrift at the foot of the table and every point is crucial for the mid-Ulster side battling to hold on to their top flight status.

Glentoran host Coleraine at the Oval with boss Gary Haveron warning: "Coleraine are going really well but we focus on our own performances and must take our chances."

Cliftonville will be without striker Daniel Hughes because of a knee injury for the visit of Ballinamallard United to Solitude, but James Knowles returns after suspension.

The Reds have won 14 and drawn one of their last 15 fixtures with the Mallards.

Ballymena United have goalkeeper Ross Glendinning and full back Danny Wallace available again as they entertain improving Carrick Rangers at the Showgrounds.

Fixtures Tomorrow (3pm): Ards v Glenavon, Ballymena United v Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville v Ballinamallard United, Dungannon Swifts v Linfield, Glentoran v Coleraine, Portadown v Crusaders

Belfast Telegraph

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