Andy Doyle and John Herron compete during the last meeting between Glenavon and Larne at Mourneview Park. Picture: Maynard Collins.
Tuesday 1 June 2021 11:00
Glenavon's biggest game of the season takes place tonight as the Lurgan Blues take on Larne at Inver Park in the European play-off semi-final.
Larne finished fourth and Glenavon finished seventh in the table, setting up the clash with Cliftonville and Crusaders, who finished fifth and sixth respectively, meeting in the other semi-final. The two winning sides meet on Saturday to decide who gets the Danske Bank Premiership's final European spot.
Away supporters are unable to attend tonight's game, but it is being streamed on 247.tv/niprem with Glenavon getting half of the stream profits.
After such a long, hard season have Glenavon's players got what it takes for one final push and earn a spot in Europe? Here's five things you need to know ahead of the match, which kicks off at 7.30pm and is being streamed on 247.tv/niprem with Glenavon receiving half of the stream receipts.
Glenavon are unbeaten in their last six games, winning five (Portadown 4-1, Warrenpoint 4-0 and Carrick Rangers 6-3 as well as two Mid-Ulster Cup wins (Warrenpoint 3-0 and Loughgall 1-0) and drawing one (Dungannon Swifts, 1-1). Larne have lost their last three games in a row to Linfield (2-1), Glentoran (1-0) and Coleraine (1-2).
The last time that Glenavon beat Larne was on October 13, 2007 when the Lurgan Blues were 4-3 winners at Inver Park. Neal Gawley and a Colm Kearney brace had put Glenavon 3-0 up at half time but five minutes after the re-start the Invermen were level through an Aaron Black penalty and two goals in three minutes from Damien McLaughlin. Lewis Hamlin scored what would prove to be the winning goal on 51 minutes.
Larne have secured nine of their 18 games at home this season, drawing five and losing five. Glenavon have also won nine away from home, but have drawn three and lost seven.
March's 2-2 draw at Mourneview Park stopped a sequence of six straight defeats against the Invermen, including five since Larne returned to the Premiership in 2019. The sequence also included a loss in January 2008.
Glenavon finished the league season on 62 points, just two fewer than Larne racked up over the course of the season. Glenavon also scored more league goals (72) than the Invermen (64), but conceded considerably more (65 v 41)