GLENN Ferguson hailed the impact of substitute Peter Duffin in helping United come from three goals down to draw with Lisburn Distllery on Saturday.
The Portglenone teenager – a product of the club’s Youth Academy, who re-joined United in the summer after a year at Cliftonville – made his league debut as a half-time substitute, with his only previous appearance coming against Lurgan Celtic in the Irn Bru League Cup earlier in the season.
Duffin provided a much-needed spark and also set up David Cushley’s goal which prompted United’s grandstand finish.
“The wee lad did great for us when he came on,” said Ferguson.
“He added a wee bit of pace and Distillery didn’t really know what to expect of him because they didn’t know him.
“He came highly recommended by Davy Dorrian who said he had been soing super for him in the Reserves so I took Davy’s word for it.
“It’s just getting the right time to put young players in – preferably at a time when we’re winning a game comfortably - but this one was enforced.”
On the game itself, Ferguson said: “It was two points dropped but it could have been much worse.
“The ironic thing about the (Gavin Taggart) sending off is that it set the tone for the rest of the game and that was the only reason we got a point out of it.
“The game was dead but that fired it up a bit and gave us a lift.
“Gavin will be missed because he covers so much ground, he wants to get the ball and play and it means something to him.
“Every now and then you’re going to get a bit of bad that comes with the good but he will be dealt with internally.
“That game could have been 8-6 because we had so much possession and so many balls into the box.
“In the first half we didn’t turn up and we carried too many passengers.
“At half-time we had a bit of a chat and changed the formation and the players who hadn’t done anyway well in the first half were under no illusions.
“To be totally honest, once we scored the first, I thought we would get something out of the game.
“They seemed to get deeper and deeper and let us get on top of them and the players who had been making runs forward weren’t getting on the ball,” added Ferguson.