Hat-trick hero Jenkins relieved after United victory

Allan Jenkins celebrates with team-mate Gary Thompson after completing his hat-trick in Saturday's win over Warrenpoint. Picture: Press Eye.
Allan Jenkins celebrates with team-mate Gary Thompson after completing his hat-trick in Saturday's win over Warrenpoint. Picture: Press Eye.

Allan Jenkins admitted he didn’t have much time to enjoy the first hat-trick of his career in Ballymena United’s win over Warrenpoint Town.

The Scotsman, who had been taken off to a rapturous ovation after his treble had seemingly killed off the game at 3-0, was chewing his fingernails anxiously in the dugout as the 10 men of Warrenpoint pulled it back to 3-2 before Kyle McVey’s late goal eventually settled the game in Ballymena’s favour.

“We made it very difficult for ourselves - it wouldn’t be Ballymena if we did it any other way!” smiled Jenkins.

“All joking aside, it kind of took the shine off it (the hat-trick) a bit.

“I came off thinking the game was over and that we were cruising but within five or 10 minutes it had changed completely.

“Spike had drummed it into us to go and start the second half the right way and put the game to bed which thankfully we did or at least we thought we did.

“But we conceded two poor goals, balls over the top again left us exposed.

“We missed a couple but then big Kyle has squeezed one in from a corner and we’ve managed to get the three points which, ultimately, in the bigger picture, was the most important thing.

“Warrenpoint are the only team that has conceded more than us - you can dress statistics up whatever way you want to but that is one there is no getting away from.

“It’s something we need to address if we are to do anything about climbing the table and making a run in the Irish Cup and Shield final.

“Spike made it clear that if play and defend the way we did against Linfield this weekend, the result will probably not be so kind to us.

“You can’t keep expecting to need to score two, three, four goals just to win a game of football - the best teams in the world wouldn’t even expect to do that.

“The teams above us are getting away so we have to throw two or three wins together but it’s been win one, lose one for us this season.

“Consistency has always been the problem throughout my time at Ballymena.

“The only time we’ve really had sustained runs has been when we’ve gone down into the bottom six and won four or five games in a row against teams below us in the league table.

“That why the likes of Crusaders and Cliftonville are top of the league - they keep winning week in, week out or at least they don’t get beat regularly.”

On his maiden career hat-trick, Jenkins said: “I scored twice at Glentoran one day and twice against Coleraine one Boxing Day.

“I had chances to score a third in both those games so I was glad to see the third one go in against Warrenpoint,” he added.

* You can also watch a video interview with Allan Jenkins by clicking here.