Belfast Telegraph

Mitchell targets first major trophy after Lurgan Blues ease past Swifts

Glenavon 3-0 Dungannon Swifts

Andy Mitchell celebrates breaking the Mourneview Park deadlock
Andy Mitchell celebrates breaking the Mourneview Park deadlock
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

Andrew Mitchell has set his sights on lifting a first major trophy with Glenavon.

The striker was on the mark as they thumped Dungannon to progress to the quarter-finals of the Tennent's Irish Cup.

Mitchell scored the first in a tie that was even more one-sided than the result suggests.

The 24-year-old, who spent three seasons with the Swifts, admits cup success is a big target.

"An Irish Cup would be fantastic - it would be my first major trophy, " he said. "It is massive for a club like Glenavon, and brings European qualification.

"But we have a lot of games to go before then so we just have to keep focused."

Glenavon made a flying start at a bitterly cold Mourneview Park.

Mitchell had a goal controversially ruled out for offside, while Sammy Clingan saw a penalty saved by Stuart Addis.

Chance after chance came and went for the home side, before Mitchell struck a minute before the break.

He took a pass from Stephen Murray, created a yard of space, and scored with a low drive.

Dungannon lost Mark Patton - who got the winner for Glenavon in the 2014 final - to a straight red in the second half.

And Murray strengthened Glenavon's grip on the tie when he made it 2-0 in the 68th minute.

Mark Sykes won possession and played him through, with a deflection on the shot catching out the goalkeeper.

Glenavon's third came in the 88th minute.

Addis, who had been the Swifts' stand-out player, blocked from Joel Cooper but sub Marc Griffin netted from the rebound.

Mitchell admitted the timing of the first goal was crucial.

"You could have been thinking it was one of those days but we have the belief in ourselves that we will go out and score in every game," he added.

"We always feel we will score, and thankfully the goal came before half-time.

"It was probably the best time to score and eased the nerves.

"From when we scored, we just kicked on and I don't think Jonny Tuffey had a save to make.

"I'm just so pleased to get through to the next round."

Glenavon now meet Mid-Ulster rivals Loughgall in a repeat of the quarter-final from 2016, when they last lifted the cup.

On the basis of this showing, few would bet against the seven-time winners triumphing again.

Mitchell added: "We don't fear anybody and we have the belief we can beat anyone on our day.

"Hopefully we can produce the same level of performance in the next round."

This win came two years to the day that former Glenavon striker Mark Farren lost his battle with cancer at the age of just 33.

Boss Gary Hamilton said: "It's fitting today that we got the win on the anniversary of his death."

Dungannon still have the BetMcLean League Cup final to look forward to. But they were poor on Saturday, and boss Rodney McAree had no complaints.

"It looked as though we were suffering a hangover from Tuesday night. I know I made five changes, but the remaining lads struggled to get going," he said.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Marshall, Singleton, Marron, Burns, Hall (McGrory, 82 mins), Clingan (Foley, 82 mins), Sykes, Cooper, Murray (Griffin, 82 mins), Mitchell. Unused subs: Taylor, McCavitt, Hamilton, Lindsay.

DUNGANNON: Addis, Lowe, Clucas, Hegarty, O'Rourke, Wilson (Coyle, 70 mins), Hutchinson (Fitzpatrick, 30 mins), Mayse, Burke (McElroy, 56 mins), Patton, Hughes. Unused subs: Armstrong, Harpur, Coleman, Teggart.

Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)

Man of the match: Stephen Murray

Match rating: 8/10

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph