Nine players out for Annagh home test

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

Annagh United must host high-flying Larne tonight (Friday) with a squad cut short by nine senior players.

Injury, unavailability and suspension have left manager Dean Smith with a depleted selection panel.

However, Smith feels the young players on the Tandragee Road books can benefit from the opportunity.

“We have added quite a few young players to the club over the past few years,” said Smith. “We signed players who we regard as having potential but also players who have ability now.

“The situation for Larne will open the door for quite a few of the young players to step up into the spotlight.

“Chris McElroy and Scott McCordick will be suspended, plus we have Marc Robinson, Bryan Pentland and Richard Allen on the injury list.

“Philip Craig, Adam Neale and Steven Park are unavailable and Francis McCann has left the club.

“It is quite a list of players ruled out but we look on it as an opportunity.”

Smith will also join McElroy - the weekend scorer for Annagh - and McCordick on the list of suspensions following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Lisburn Distillery.

“It was the first time ever I told my players not to feel responsible for the defeat,” said Smith. “We will await the referee’s report then take action, if required, as a club.

“I was told after the match that Lisburn Distillery are also considering making a formal complaint against the performance of the referee, based on various decisions.”

Kick-off at Tandragee Road against Larne will be 7.45.

Annagh’s league visit to Ballyclare Comrades will now take place on Saturday, March 5 rather than the following weekend.