Ferguson pleased with United players’ response

Gary Thompson was one of six changes made to the Ballymena United team by manager Glenn Ferguson in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Portadown. Picture: Pacemaker Press.
Gary Thompson was one of six changes made to the Ballymena United team by manager Glenn Ferguson in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Portadown. Picture: Pacemaker Press.

Glenn Ferguson was pleased with the reaction of his much-changed Ballymena United line-up in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Portadown.

Ferguson wielded the axe following the limp JBE League Cup exit at the hands of Coleraine in midweek by making six changes for the visit of Ronnie McFall’s side.

“We made changes and I spoke to the players and told them why we made those changes.

“The players who came in certainly didn’t do themselves any harm. I thought Stephen McBride was excellent and Gary Thompson did really well.

“On the balance of chances created, it was probably a fair result.

“We would have been disappointed if we had lost because we did enough to get at least a draw.

“If you make mistakes or switch off, you get punished and that’s exactly what happened.

“From a straight ball down the middle, we switched off and you can’t give Gary Twigg that sort of space to pick out (Sean) Mackle.

“The thing that pleased us was that, at 1-0 down, you can sometimes get into the mindset of just launching the ball into the box and try to pick off something which we didn’t want to do because Portadown are a bigger team than us.

“We continued to do what we wanted the players to do, dominate in midfield, get the ball into wide areas and have runners and our goal must have had at least 20 passes, from left to right and right to left and we got a good ball into the box and it was a good run by Allan Jenkins and a good finish.

“I was really, really pleased with the goal and the way we kept doing what we wanted to do,” added Ferguson.