Glenavon ‘not disgraced’ in full-time tests now Gary Hamilton looking forward
Gary Hamilton was left to reflect on a week of plaudits without any wins from home performances against three Premiership full-time outfits as Glentoran left Lurgan celebrating a 2-1 success.
A scoreless draw with defending champions Linfield last weekend was followed up by Hamilton’s players with a late midweek loss to Larne before a Saturday setback against the Glens.
Luke McCullough put Glentoran in front before Matthew Fitzpatrick rewarded the hosts for second-half pressure to make it 1-1 - only for a rapid response by the visitors off the penalty spot from Jay Donnelly.
“I don’t know if any other part-time team will get a week like that this year with three full-time sides,” said Hamilton. “And the positives would be we can compete with sides of that quality, we’ve not been disgraced or over-run - but, unfortunately, the results have not been what we wanted.
“All we can do is take those performances into the next few games against part-time teams when it’s more even in terms of build-up and everything.
“We were well in the game against Larne, made a mistake and it cost us and it was similar today.
“When you’ve got a team like Glentoran, if you stand off, give them too much respect and let them play they can hurt you.
“They deservedly went in 1-0 up at half-time and it’s very difficult to change things from the sideline during a game so we got them in and reminded the players of good performances against Larne and Linfield by pressing.
“In the second half we were superb and the dominant team right up until we scored our equaliser.
“But then within 60 seconds the ball has gone back off the kick-off, one punt up and we gave away a penalty.
“With the players we have we shouldn’t be conceding a goal within 60 seconds.
“Everyone says you are most vulnerable after you score, with the elation of getting a goal you can switch off and lose concentration, when it should be the opposite.
“We were victims of that today.
“Mark Haughey seems to have injured the tendon in his hamstring when he made the tackle which gave away the penalty.
“So it adds to the blow of it all.
“The first goal the ball has bounced in front of Declan (Brown), he has palmed it out and someone is free in the box, then a goal is from the penalty kick.
“Outside of that, Robbie McDaid’s had a shot from the byline in the first half, so I thought we did well against top, top players.
“You have to be on your guard the whole time and it’s testament to our players that they didn’t have too many chances over the whole game.
“But Glentoran go away with three points, which is frustrating and disappointing for us as the boys put in so much effort.”
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