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Hamilton frustrated at yet another stalemate

Glenavon 1 Glentoran 1

By Ian Callender

Gary Hamilton defended his players after watching them play out another draw in an increasingly frustrating season.

Only the top two have lost fewer games than the Lurgan Blues but an eighth draw - two more than any other Premiership side - left them stranded in mid-table, seven points behind second place.

"Never mind about the draw, it was a very good performance and we deserved a win," said the Glenavon boss.

"We played 120 minutes against a top quality side (beating Cliftonville) on Wednesday night and came out and performed like that. We had the better of the chances after the first 20 minutes and more of the chances and Elliott Morris pulled off a world-class save."

That was to keep out a deflected shot from Joel Cooper which was dipping in under the crossbar and came 10 minutes after Glentoran's equaliser, when Jay Magee headed in Eric Foley's free-kick.

Hamilton, though, believes the free kick, for a hand ball against Mark Sykes, should not have been awarded and he was also angry that James Singleton was booked for a 'nothing challenge' which proved crucial in the final minute when referee Ian McNabb had no option but to show the full back another yellow, and red card, for a late tackle.

The draw was not enough to move Glentoran out of the bottom four but Gary Haveron claimed the point was no more than they deserved.

"To go in one down at half time was disappointing as we were the better side and we counter attacked well," said the Glens boss.

"The goal we conceded was poor (Cooper was unmarked on the penalty spot to fire home Greg Moorhouse's cross), but against a strong Glenavon team it was an encouraging point and our fans go away encouraged by a good-hearted display."

GLENAVON: Tuffey; McGrory, Lindsay, Marron, Singleton; Hall, Marshall, Sykes, Cooper (Patton 81 mins); Moorhouse, Bradley

GLENTORAN: Morris; Birney (Ferris 80 mins), Magee, Addis, Redman; Harmon, Smith, Foley, Lavery; Caldwell (Nelson 70 mins), Allen

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)

Man of the match: Rhys Marshall

Match rating: 7/10

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