Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville 1-1 Glenavon: Gary Hamilton rues more squandered points

Cliftonville 1-1 Glenavon

By Conor McLaughlin

Gary Hamilton has few complaints about Glenavon's performances this season but wishes they would start yielding the rewards he feels they deserve.

The Lurgan Blues were ultimately grateful for the Declan O'Brien goal that earned a point against Cliftonville on Saturday but, having bossed both the opening exchanges and the closing stages, Hamilton believes the only things his men were lacking was a bit of fortune.

"We're just not getting that wee rub of the green this season that lets you turn defeats into draws and draws into wins," he said.

"Apart from the Cliftonville match on the opening day - when they deserved to batter us - and the draw down at Carrick, I feel we've been unlucky to drop points in every other match we haven't won.

"Last week, we lost 1-0 at Crusaders and a wee while before that conceded a late winner to Linfield at Windsor, then today we fall behind after creating all the chances."

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No fan of synthetic surfaces, Hamilton was also left to bemoan the first-half injury which ended Kevin Braniff's participation, adding: "Kevin told me he's never had a hamstring problem in his life. He felt it a wee bit on the pitch at Seaview last week and obviously it's popped here."

Cliftonville boss Gerard Lyttle - whose side led through Chris Curran's cool 55th minute conversion - was puzzled by his team's performance.

"We were very flat today and I could sense that even in the changing room before the match," he said.

"I don't know exactly what it was but we didn't seem to have any buzz about us and that carried over into the match.

"We got a reaction at the break and looked much better, got our goal, should have had another but then we switched off for their equaliser. That's the kind of drop in concentration we need to address."

CLIFTONVILLE: Burke, Ives, Flynn, Knowles, Curran, McDaid, Garrett, Smyth, Catney, J Donnelly, Cosgrove. Subs: McGovern (Smyth, 87 mins), McMullan, C Murray (McDaid, 72 mins), M Murray, George (Garrett, 81 mins).

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Neill, Kelly, Lindsay, Kilmartin, Marshall, Hall, Patton, Sykes, Braniff, Kearns. Unused subs: McKeown, Cooper (Patton, 65 mins), McGrory (Kearns, 88 mins), Buckley, O'Brien (Braniff, 29 mins).

Man of the match: Levi Ives

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)

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