Annagh squad depth key to club’s impressive form

Dean Smith. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Dean Smith. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Smith and his Annagh squad knocked top-flight Glenavon out of the League Cup on Tuesday night thanks to a dramatic and memorable penalty shoot-out success.

Following one happy return to Mourneview Park, Smith can now look forward to renewing old friendships with Loughgall in tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) NIFL Championship One programme.

Smith enjoyed a string of silverware as part of the Loughgall frontline and is just one link between Annagh and the Villagers ahead of the Tandragee Road fixture.

Marc Robinson’s exploits between the posts to help knock out Glenavon served as little surprise to fans of Loughgall, who still recall with delight the goalkeeper’s key role in so many trophy triumphs.

“There is the derby angle this weekend and the connections between the clubs but really it all comes down to both sides going in determined to get three vital league points,” said Smith. “Marc was excellent against Glenavon but I know all about that ability from our playing days together at Loughgall.

“Marc’s big-game mentality and confidence proved two of the big reasons behind why we wanted him at the club.

“However, he had to wait for his chance again following recovery from broken ribs due to the form of Ciaran Fox.

“I am blessed with two quality goalkeepers and Marc came in during last weekend’s Bob Radcliffe Cup win against Coagh United.

“Competition for places will be so important over the course of the season and we managed to get the win at Glenavon despite some experienced players ruled out.

“Some will be back available this weekend but there is great depth now and that can only help push everyone on.”

Gary Boyle and Jamie Smith each found the net, with an own goal adding to the 3-1 success at Coagh.

“It was great for Gary to get off the mark after recently joining the club and great for Jamie to get on the scoresheet,” said Smith. “We got the right result and the combination of squad options and two good results should ensure everyone can look forward to the Loughgall match in the right mindset.”

Kick-off will be 3 o’clock.