GARY Hamilton had double reason to celebrate on Saturday night after Glenavon grabbed a point off Glentoran – and then captured the signing of Derry City striker Mark Farren.
Hamilton believes Farren – who be available from January 1 – will add some extra bite to the Lurgan Blues’ front line.
“He’s scored over 100 goals in just over 200 appearances in the league for Derry,” said Hamilton.
“In my opinion he’s the best goal scoring centre forward in the League of Ireland. I’ve seen him play quite a bit; I’ve played against him a few times and he has lightening pace and he’s brilliant in the box.
“He’ll give this club a massive lift – now we’ve got Matty Burrows, myself, Guy Bates, young Andrew Mitchell and now we’ve Mark coming in. It’s exciting times because we probably haven’t had a strike force like that for a long time.
“We hope to get him in before (the) August (deadline) but if we don’t we’ll still have him for January 1.”
It was one of those strikers – Burrows – who scored the equaliser three minutes from time to earn the Mourneview men a deserved share of the spoils.
Hamilton played his part in build up, whipping in the corner which was cleared out as far as Burrows and his volley looped into the top corner.
Glentoran had taken the lead a minute before half-time through Andy Waterworth. He beat Andy Coleman at his near post after being played through by Sean Ward’s knock-on.
Both sides had chances to win the game – Stephen Carson hit the crossbar with a powerful shot from outside the box and Colin Nixon saw his header come off the base of the post for the Glens while the impressive Guy Bates was denied by a great save from Elliott Morris when his header was pushed over the bar.
For Glentoran boss Eddie Patterson it was very much a case of two points dropped rather than one gained.
“We should have had the game dead and buried in the first half,” he said. “We should have taken our chances.
“I’m disappointed too because we felt the corner which led to the goal was actually a goal kick. It was quite clear from where we were and the referee was in a much better position.”
Meanwhile, Patterson admits he would like to bring former Glentoran star Stuart Elliott back to the Oval.
The ex-Northern Ireland international is being linked with a return to Mersey Street following the departure of Darren Boyce to Coleraine.
“If there are funds made available to allow Stuart to come to the club then so be it,” said Patterson.
“At this moment it time we haven’t ascertained how much of that money will be available so we will see what develops.
“Stuart’s 34 but he’s been a full-time professional, he doesn’t drink and he doesn’t smoke so he’s kept himself right. I’m sure that if we could get him that he would be a key player for us.”