Lurgan Blues aiming for top spot against Swifts

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Glenavon's Andrew Mitchell

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Glenavon can go top of the Danske Bank Premiership tonight by beating Dungannon Swifts at Mourneview Park (7.45pm).

It would move Gary Hamilton's men above current leaders Coleraine on goal difference.
The league's joint top scorer, Lurgan Blues striker Andrew Mitchell, faces his former team for the first time since rejoining his boyhood club in the summer.  
With seven goals so far, the 23-year-old says he has no regrets about switching sides.
Mitchell hit the winner for the Swifts against Glenavon at Mourneview last December.
The defender marking him, Kris Lindsay, is now the Glenavon first team coach.
He says the Dungannon game is always tricky.
Coleraine play tomorrow - they're away to local rivals Ballymena.
Stripes boss Oran Kearney is relishing the clash with the club he represented with distinction as a player...

There's also a big derby game at Solitude where Cliftonville face Linfield. 
Recent recruit from Plymouth, Louis Rooney, has hit the ground running for the Blues with seven goals in seven games.
Rooney has a special incentive this weekend as his Belfast-born father is back in Northern Ireland...

The other matches tomorrow are bottom four battles - basement side Ballinamallard host Ards while Carrick Rangers go to Warrenpoint Town.
Kick-off at all venues on Saturday is 3pm.
Glentoran take on Crusaders at the Oval on Monday night in the season's first televised fixture.
Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Football League says fans are voting with their feet following a pulsating start to the 2017/18 campaign.

After the first eight rounds of fixtures there have been record-breaking attendances at 20 Premiership games. 


43% (20 of 47) of games played have enjoyed a highest recorded crowd for that specific fixture since top-flight attendance figures have been published in the last 10 seasons.


NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston is delighted with the upsurge: “We started the season back in August with a record crowd for a Ballymena United v Crusaders game and the trend has continued right up until last Saturday when Glentoran hosted a record crowd for a Coleraine game – in fact, the highest recorded attendance for a non ‘Big Two’ games since they won the league in May 2009!


“It’s been fantastic to see and it’s noticeable the rise in numbers when we’re at the games, it adds to the fantastic atmosphere within the Danske Bank Premiership. Credit must go to the clubs for all their hard work in their initiatives to encourage the fans back, so I’d certainly recommend that if anyone hasn’t been to one of our games before there is no better time to start.


"With over 50,000 spectators through the gates already this season, an average of 1,106 per game, this marks a 10-season high for the Northern Ireland Football League with the average crowd having grown almost 30% since 2008/09 season and an increase of 3% on last season."


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