Belfast Telegraph

Andy Hall is desperate to avoid fresh knockout blow

By Graham Luney

Andy Hall says there is no chance of Glenavon underestimating Loughgall in their Irish Cup quarter-final tussle.

Bangor old boy Hall knows all about the resilience of the underdog after his Seasiders side were sent crashing out of the Cup at the quarter-final stage by Queen's University in 2014.

To compound Hall's woe, he was shown a red card and memories of that painful time will stoke his Lurgan Blues fire today against the fourth-placed Championship One side.

"I know what it feels like to lose a big Cup game you are expected to win," said Hall who netted a delicious free-kick against H&W Welders at Tillysburn in the fifth round.

"That result was hard to take and my red card did not help matters.

"Sometimes you just don't get the luck and the team that is not expected to win is highly motivated to beat you.

"It was a tough weekend and I'm anxious to avoid a repeat.

"I know many boys in our team are still buzzing from their Irish Cup win in 2014 but I'm driven on by that loss against Queen's."

Glenavon are soldiering on without their star striker Eoin Bradley who was hit with a six-match ban for a headbutt on Crusaders skipper Colin Coates.

"I was close to the incident and there didn't appear to be much in it," said Hall. "The penalties are quite harsh and it's a very heavy punishment but we are moving on and have the players to keep progressing in the league and Cup.

"You want a home draw in the Irish Cup against a side ranked lower than yourself but we will not take anything for granted."

Hall has been a big hit at Mourneview Park this season after making the step up from the Seasiders.

Surrounded by so many quality performers in Lurgan, it's no wonder he is playing with a smile on his face.

"I'm really enjoying it," he added. "My aim was very simple - to break into the team and then start as many matches as possible.

"The more you play the more confident you get and it's about keeping your head down and working hard.

"We've had a few ups and downs as you would expect but we are challenging at the right end of the table and that's where every side wants to be."

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