Lurgan Celtic v Glentoran
Irish Cup Round Five
Knockramer Park, Lurgan
Saturday 6th January 2018, 1.30pm kick off.
A new experience as we travel to Knockramer Park to face Lurgan Celtic in the Irish Cup Fifth Round.
This is the first time we have faced Lurgan Celtic in a competitive fixture, although we played them at the Oval in July 2016 as part of the deal to transfer Chris Lavery to Glentoran. On that occasion we won 1-0 with Lavery appropriately scoring the winner.
Celtic have had a poor season so far and they lie bottom of the Bluefin Sports Championship with just 15 points from 20 league games. However there can be no room for complacency following our League cup humiliation last season to nearby Annagh United and our 2012 home humiliation at the hands of Newington YC. Also Lurgan Celtic have a decent giant killing pedigree, having knocked out Premiership Portadown at this stage just two years ago. However we may have up to seven players with Irish Cup winners medals from our 2015 win over Portadown available for selection. So lack of experience shouldn’t be an issue.
Gary Haveron said after training on Thursday night: “We’ve still got a few lads out for Saturday. Dylan tried to train but he took a really sore one on Tuesday night so he won’t make it. But I’m hopeful he’ll be back for our next league game. Corey (concussion) and Robbie (hamstring) will also be out. Robbie’s hamstring isn’t too bad but there’s no point rushing him back and risking losing him more long term. Moko didn’t train with a bug so we’ll wait and see with him.
On a more positive note Curtis trained on Thursday and reckons he’s over the worst of the bug that kept him out of Tuesday night. Ross is fit now and probably available but Kym has done really well at left back the past few weeks so I’ve a decision to make there. Finally, John McGuigan had a full training session tonight so he may be ready to come back into the frame. He’ll be a big benefit to us when we finally have him available.
This is a massive game for us. Obviously winning the Irish Cup is a major priority for us as it gets us into Europe which means a lot. The Irish Cup Final is the biggest match of the season to be involved in and I know how much it means to Glentoran supporters given the club’s great track record over the past 35 years. We’ll show every respect to Lurgan Celtic but we’re going there looking for a good win to help us build greater momentum for the rest of the season.”