Gary Hamilton hails ‘professional’ Glenavon win

Glenavon's Robbie McDaid
Glenavon's Robbie McDaid

Glenavon dealt swiftly with Sport and Leisure to set up a sixth round tie with either Ballinamallard or Strabane Athletic.

They virtually had their name in the hat for the draw within 10 minutes of the match getting underway as the home side sailed into a 3-0 lead before David Rainey added a fourth before the break.

And their substitutes added to their tally in the second half to make it a magnificent seven for the Lurgan Blues.

It was a game which allowed Gary Hamilton the chance to give some of his players game time.

“Brendan Shannon hasn’t played in a long time, and it was important to give new signing Brian McCaul 90 minutes,” he said.

“Robbie McDaid had a good half and so did Sammy McIlveen so it was useful to give those guys a run-out. Some of those guys haven’t had a chance this season, some of them due to injury, but it was a good work-out. The boys were professional and went about the game in the right way.”

In particular Hamilton was pleased with how quickly Glenavon got in front.

“We said that if we are going to win games like this we were going to have to start off brightly because teams like Sport and Leisure are going to try and come at you from the start. We set out to get a couple of early goals and thankfully we were able to do that. We finished the game off well.”

The Premiership outfit took a fourth minute lead when a partially cleared corner fell to the returning Shannon on the edge of the box to fire home.

Another Mark Patton corner was the source of the second goal, this time Rhys Marshall heading it home.

With nine minutes on the clock it was 3-0. Rainey’s initial shot came back off the post and after collecting the rebound he beat the retreating left back before firing in another shot, which took a deflection off the unfortunate Jim O’Neill, who was trying to make a block.

Rainey did get on the scoresheet five minutes from the interval with an effort which, again took a wicked deflection on the way in.

Hamilton rang the changes at half time, bringing on McDaid and McIlveen and the pair combined with the latter on target to make it 5-0, before the player-manager provided an assist for McDaid to make it six.

And another of the subs, Kyle Neill, completed the scoring, rifling home after being teed up by McCaul.

Sport and Leisure boss, Frankie Wilson, admitted their top-flight opponents were just too good.

“It was difficult but I have to give my crowd credit for not kicking and fighting. We went down with dignity in the face of adversity,” he said. “Our opponents had so much class, particularly up front.”