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Lindsay dismisses title chat as Glenavon remain on course

Ballinamallard 0 Glenavon 3

By Gareth Cauldwell

Glenavon's comfortable victory over Ballinamallard United may have lifted them to within two points of the summit but coach Kris Lindsay has played down talk of a title challenge - and insists that European qualification is the club's goal.

"Probably at the start of the season we weren't expecting to be up where we are," he admitted. "Our aim as always is to qualify for Europe and at the minute we are doing that. If we keep putting in performances and stay professional then hopefully we will stay in the European places and reach our aim by the end of the season.

"We have a good young squad who have no fear but we have a small squad and injuries and suspensions could kill us. However, we will go out and try and win as many games as we can and see where that takes us," he said.

Glenavon bossed matters from the outset on Saturday as they created a string of chances although, with Mallards goalkeeper Richard Brush in fine form, it took until the 41st minute for them to break the deadlock with Mark Sykes on target.

James Singleton then doubled the lead two minutes after the break before Marc Griffin wrapped things up with a late third.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game as Ballinamallard are at the wrong end of the table and they are fighting for their lives but I thought we were professional and we were comfortable," added Lindsay.

"We probably should have been a few more up at half time, Brushie has made a couple of great saves in the first half, but we managed to get one and then in the second half we scored early and that was game over."

Next up for Glenavon is a meeting with Linfield on Friday night and Lindsay is expecting a tough battle.

"Linfield have had a good win over Coleraine but we are at home and we want to win all our home games and we want to make Mourneview a fortress," he said. "Linfield have quality players all over the park but we're looking forward to it and it should be a good game."

At the other end of the table, Ballinamallard remain five points adrift and manager Gavin Dykes has warned his players that if they don't have the stomach for the fight then they have no future at the club.

"I'm after telling them that anyone who doesn't want to be here and fight for this club, they should do the honest thing and leave," he said. "The players here need to want to be here. They're not doing enough, either collectively or individually, and we need to put that right."

Ballinamallard: Brush, McConnell, McLaughlin, McKenna, Smyth, Burns (Martyn, 58 mins (McIlwaine, 82 mins)), Leddy, Clarke, McGinty, Owens, Brennan (Armstrong, 58 mins).

Gleanavon: Tuffey, Burns (Griffin, 76 mins), Kelly, Doyle, Daniels, Marshall (McGrory, 68 mins), Mitchell (Hamilton, 76 mins), Hall, Sykes, Clingan, Singleton.

Ref: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)

Man of the match: Bobby Burns

Match rating: 6/10

Belfast Telegraph

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