Saturday 28 December 2019, Kick Off 3.00pm
On Saturday we commence the third round of matches in the Danske Bank Premiership with the visit of Ballymena United top the Oval.
United are currently seventh in the table, three places and fifteen points behind us. But prior to their 2-0 Boxing Day defeat at Coleraine they were having a good month with wins against Crusaders, Dungannon Swifts and Glenavon. So, if we are to extend our eleven-match unbeaten league run, we’ll need to be on our game against a team with a strong record at the Oval over the past decade.
We’ve won the last three meetings between the teams, most recently two months ago at the Oval when we needed a second half comeback to win 3-1 following a bizarre refereeing decision by Tim Marshall gifting United the lead just before half time. However, we put in an immense second half performance with goals from Hrvoje Plum, Robbie McDaid and Marcus Kane to give us a comfortable home win. Back in September, two very late goals from Robbie McDaid gave us a 2-1 win at the Showgrounds, our first of the season.
Mick McDermott: “We put in a great performance against Linfield yesterday, in what was another example of our players sticking by our main target of making Glentoran competitive again. The result is important for our fans and everyone involved in the Club - our main purpose as a management team is to bring joy to them and to everyone in our community and we’re all very happy with how things have been progressing so far.
We know we need to continue moving forward as a team and a club and know that this match against Ballymena will be a massive test for us. They are a good side who have started to get results lately. They suffered over the past couple months due to injuries, but they now have players back in the line-up. We won both previous games but with two very different performances. We won at the Showgrounds with two very late goals from Robbie McDaid and some people suggested we nicked that one. But at home in October we were outstanding in both our play and competitiveness to come back from a very questionable goal just before half time, to win comfortably in the end.
Ballymena have a good team, probably better than their results and league position suggest. They’ll come here determined to avenge the last few results. But they will come up against a Glentoran team and support ready for any challenge.
We have a full squad available and that’s a nice headache to have as we have to make selections based on the opponent, our tactical ideas while taking into account the health of our players. It’s not great that Irish League teams must play two games in forty-eight hours over Christmas. There are UEFA statistics that demonstrate the greater likelihood of injury if players play games less than 72 hours apart, so that means we may need to rejig a few positions if legs are too tired, or if players haven’t quite recovered from minor knocks or niggles from Boxing Day. But we have a strong squad, we’ll utilise that and I’m always confident that the players we bring in will be able to step up, do the job required and stake their claim to stay in the team.
So Happy New Year to everyone supporting Glentoran in any way. See you in January when we will have Keith Cowan and Ciaran O’Connor available to start their Glentoran careers. Exciting times ahead!”
The Board of Directors at Glentoran Football Club would again request that all supporters travelling to the Oval by private car consider the local residents when deciding where and how to park. Local parking is freely available at the Arches Health Centre.
Saturday’s match sponsor is Mosgrove & Sons
441a Beersbridge Road, Belfast. Call 028 9065 5588.
We offer expert car repair and car servicing across all makes and models, as well as MOT testing, diagnostics and 24-hour breakdown services. At Mosgrove & Sons we provide the best possible quality service in MOT prep, servicing, brakes, timing belts and clutches. We also have the most up to date diagnostic equipment. Roadside recovery, puncture repairs and tyre fitting are also available.
For after-hours roadside puncture repairs or tyres call 07834738803.