Belfast Telegraph

Injury nightmare is costing Glenavon dear, says Gary Hamilton

Glenavon 1 Larne 3

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton

By John Thompson

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton believes injuries are costing him the chance to name a settled side and build any sort of momentum.

The Lurgan Blues lost 3-1 at home to Larne on Saturday, a game which saw them suffer a trio of injuries, before and during the game.

The result leaves them five points clear of the relegation play-off spot, ahead of tomorrow night's Danske Bank Premiership tie at home to Carrick, and Hamilton is desperate to be able to get some continuity in his team selection.

"We lost two players to injury at half-time (Andrew Doyle and Andrew Mitchell) on Saturday, and James Singleton on the morning of the game," said Hamilton. "James was in the gym on Thursday and picked up a neck injury.

"We just don't seem to be able to name an unsettled side, because of injuries this season.

"The two matches we did have it was Linfield (1-0 victory) and Institute (3-1 victory), and then we had to make changes for Carrick and then again for Larne.

"It's difficult, because you're chopping and changing all the time. Especially with the back four, and we had to change our back four twice against Larne.

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"We had to put Paddy Burns in and then we had to replace Andrew Doyle at half-time. It's a vital area of your team."

Despite the changes, Hamilton felt there were positives to take.

"We probably deserved a draw on the second half performance, but they were clinical when their chances came, and that's probably the difference.

"We have conceded two goals from set pieces and that's obviously disappointing.

"In the second half I thought we played some good stuff and had chances to equalise at least.

"Literally just before they scored the third goal we have had a chance to score on the edge of the box, it breaks and they go up the other end and score.

"It just seems to be the story of our season."

A goal apiece from central defensive pair Harry Flowers and Albert Watson, both from Martin Donnelly corners in the last seven minutes of the first half, gave Larne a 2-0 cushion

Stephen Murray scored from the penalty spot to bring Glenavon back into it, on 48 minutes.

However, Larne wrapped up victory with 15 minutes left when Johnny McMurray swept home after a swift counter attack.

Larne boss Tiernan Lynch was delighted to see his side seal their fifth away victory of the season.

He said: "We weathered the storm after Glenavon got their goal early in the second half.

"We got them on the counter attack on two of three occasions, with Johnny getting a great goal from one of those.

"We managed the game and all in all, a very pleasing performance and a great display from the players.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Burns, Marron, Doyle (Larmour, 46 mins), Daniels, Marshall, Mitchell (Jenkins, 46 mins), Hall (Beggs, 87 mins), Harmon, Murray, Garrett. Unused subs: Larmour, Clingan, McCloskey, Wearen, Hamilton

Larne: Devlin, Flowers, Kelly, Watson, Ramsey, Sule (Lynch, 66mins), Randall, McDaid, Donnelly (Tilney, 78mins) , Hughes, McMurray.

Unused subs: Mitchell, McEleney, McKendry, Graham, Gilmour

Referee: Robert Harvey (Dublin).

Man of the match: Harry Flowers

Match rating: 7/10

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