Belfast Telegraph

Lurgan Blues are now back on the right track, says Hamilton

 

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton

By Graham Luney

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton is confident improved performances will see his side's Danske Bank Premiership campaign take off.

The Lurgan Blues are in 10th spot after one win in six matches and they were out of luck on Saturday when Josh Daniels' late penalty woe meant they missed out on what would have been a welcome point at Crusaders.

Although disappointed to leave the Shore Road with nothing to show for a spirited effort, the battling performance, which followed a win at Formartine United in the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup, suggests the tide is about to turn.

Glenavon host Ballymena United this weekend and Hamilton can see plenty of positives.

"We did create many chances but we just didn't get the rub of the green you need when you go to a place like Seaview," he said.

"We played really well. Our form since the game in Scotland has been good and I'm shattered for the boys. Everyone knows the referee cost us the game. No-one on the pitch cost us.

"Every single player, including the substitutes, gave everything they had and it was a good performance from a solid back four to greats shifts all round, and Rhys Marshall was excellent.

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"Their first goal was a wonder goal from a special player in Paul Heatley. Sometimes there is little you can do about that but Rhys gave us a great start and we had good chances.

"I felt we were the better team in the first half and as good as them in the second.

"You just don't get the rub of the green when things aren't going for you.

"For their second goal, the ball hits Philip Lowry in the face - he doesn't know anything about it and it goes into the back of the net.

"We grafted our way back and I did think it was a penalty when (Andy) Mitchell was fouled in the box, they were at that all game and sometimes I think big Mitchell is too honest.

"I don't know why he stands up half the time, he gets pulled from pillar to post.

"He doesn't get the protection he deserves, Eoin Bradley said the same, the strong players deserve protection. A foul is a foul no matter what.

"I felt they were shaky for a period but the game is taken away from us by a penalty decision.

"Mitch took cramp in both calves and couldn't hit the penalty, but anyone can miss a penalty."

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