A number of good performances on the pitch complied with yesterday's positive news off it has left Glentoran fans in high spirits this Christmas. After last week's dramatic victory against Portadown at Shamrock Park, Glentoran will be itching to get back out on the pitch and pick up three more points-especially with a certain Boxing Day fixture just around the corner. 3 points at Shamrock last week consolidated third place, 5 points behind second placed Crusaders and 12 off the pace set by Cliftonville.
For Saturday's game, Jason Hill, Mark Clarke and Willie Garrett are all suspended. Losing a number of players around the festive period is always difficult with the amount of games, but with a number of first team players returning to the squad in the last few weeks, Eddie Patterson will be hopeful of the boys continuing the good form. With just 1 league defeat in our last seven, the recent consistency has seen us move into a positive position at the mid-point in the season.
Our visitors Ballymena Utd return to the source of their first trophy for 23 years as they defeated Linfield on penalties in the County Antrim Shield Final at The Oval recently. However since the Shield success, Ballymena have suffered a slump in form with 5 straight Danske Bank Premiership defeats. The most recent a 4-1 defeat at Glenavon will be particularly disappointing so expect them to be looking to bounce back tomorrow. The slump has seen them slip outside the top 6 and now into 8th in the table. Gavin Taggert and Gary Thompson face late fitness tests to play at The Oval whilst former Glentoran player Johnny Taylor is ruled out with a knee injury.
In Glentoran's last game before the traditional Boxing Day fixture at Windsor Park on Wednesday, Eddie Patterson will be insisting his players keep concentrating on one game at a time and not lose the recent momentum. Hopefully the boys will keep up the form and give the supporters a happy Christmas!