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Hamilton won't let Glenavon take it for granted

By Billy Weir

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton cut a frustrated figure on Saturday at Mourneview Park for a number of reasons.

Firstly, he was sitting in the stand as he began his six-match touchline ban and, secondly, like most of those around him, he couldn't believe that his side only found the target once.

His men carved out a world of chances against Coleraine and in the end were thankful to the solitary header that Rhys Marshall got on target to seal the three points.

Talented midfielder Marshall also hit the woodwork, while Joel Cooper, Kevin Braniff, James Singleton and Andy McGrory all had good chances to make life much more comfortable for the Lurgan Blues.

But a win is a win and just the encouragement Hamilton's men needed ahead of tonight's hosting of Carrick Rangers in the League Cup semi-final.

"It was nice to get a win before it because we have been playing well but not getting the results," Hamilton explained. "But sometimes in football it goes like that and you don't get what you deserve and a lot of times this season we haven't got what we deserved.

"We got what we deserved on Saturday and hopefully we can take confidence from that and hopefully they bring their finishing boots on Tuesday night.

"If they play the same way they did here and create the same chances, hopefully they'll put a few more of them away to get into the final.

"That's what we're aiming for because it will be a great achievement for the boys.

"This club hasn't been contesting finals for a long, long time so to get a win on Tuesday night would be brilliant."

Standing in the way of that chance to add the League Cup to the Irish Cup wins Hamilton has on his managerial CV is the threat of Carrick.

Under new boss Aaron Callaghan, the east Antrim side, although still too close to the drop zone for comfort, have shown some signs of upward mobility and Hamilton will certainly be taking nothing for granted tonight.

"Aaron has come in and hasn't been beaten in too many games," he said.

"We played him in his first game, which I always hate doing against a club when they get a new manager, and it was 0-0 and he had them well organised.

"He has had more time with them since then and they've got good results.

"They played Coleraine a couple of weeks ago and beat them 2-0 and anybody who gets a result against them are a decent team because Coleraine are a top team and, in my opinion, are best placed to push Cliftonville for third place."

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