IRISH CUP: Hamilton’s praise for Glenavon team performance but McAree suffers Dungannon Swifts frustration

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton.

A commanding Glenavon performance secured success in the Tennent’s Irish Cup sixth round over Dungannon Swifts by 3-0.

Goals by Andrew Mitchell, Stephen Murray and Marc Griffin wrapped up the win - with Mark Patton sent off on his return to Mourneview Park.

Dungannon Swifts manager Rodney McAree.

Dungannon Swifts manager Rodney McAree.

“It was from the first minute to the 90th minute as good as we have played for a long time,” said Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton. “Recently we’ve not started games so well and let others get a foot in the game but we were exceptional.

“We created chance after chance and Stuart Addis was excellent, he pulled off some great saves and, only for him, we would have been three or four up at half-time.

“It was brilliant to get the goal at the end of the first half and put in a really strong second-half performance towards the win.

“We always try to play the same way and start the same way but it doesn’t always work out that way.

“It doesn’t matter how you get through in cup games but it was nice to do it with a good performance.

“Stephen Murray and Andrew Mitchell were excellent today, they were a handful for the Dungannon defence but the 11 on the pitch and subs who came on each performed at a very high level.

“Andrew led the line brilliantly and deserved to have two or three goals, as did Stephen.

“James Singleton is a very good player and we did toy with putting Rhys Marshall into centre-back for the defensive reshuffle but didn’t want to take away his ability to get forward and at the opposition.

“We had the option of starting the game and keeping an eye on James to change it if he felt uncomfortable but, from minute one, he was excellent.

“He looked as if he played there all his life.”

The Swifts entered the match following a demanding midweek BetMcLean League Cup semi-final win over Crusaders after extra-time.

“We never got going, we made five changes to freshen things up but, ultimately, the 120 minutes we played on Tuesday night still seemed to be in the players’ legs,” said Dungannon Swifts manager Rodney McAree. “We paid a price and there were mistakes in our play, with a lot of poor clearances as we put ourselves under pressure which we never managed to relieve.

“To be honest, I’m quite thankful it was only 3-0 as it could have been more.

“James Singleton moving into centre-half all of a sudden gave them a lot of legs as he’s a very good player, accomplished and with an understanding of the game.

“In a situation like that we maybe needed a player like Johnny Lafferty in there but I never felt the changes would weaken Glenavon.

“Right from the beginning they were on the frontfoot, they got the ball forward and had runners, with people like Stephen Murray and Andrew Mitchell causing problems.

“That pace, mobility and strength left us struggling to get out and we needed more game intelligence.

“We tried to play in areas we should not have, instead of clearing our lines to gain territory and setting up.

“For 45 minutes we continued to put ourselves under pressure and I felt our best spell of the game was just before the sending off at the start of the second half.

“Unfortunately it was a bit of a rash challenge for the red card and we paid the price.

“Stuart Addis is remarkable, he is 38 years old but seems to get better with age and has done extremely well recently and today.

“He has aches and pains but kept us in the match, certainly up to half-time as we were very fortunate going 1-0 down.

“I thought Daniel Hughes’ hold-up play was very good.

“I don’t think he lost any ball all day he got into his feet or chest.

“That shows positives as he hasn’t had a game for quite a while in terms of gametime.

“Obviously with minutes he will continue to improve but I was happy with Daniel.

“Daniel was one of the least of my worries.”