Tipton hopes Boxing Day win can increase United’s support

Matthew Tipton celebrates after scoring the winner in Ballymena United's Boxing Day win over Coleraine. Picture: Press Eye.
Matthew Tipton celebrates after scoring the winner in Ballymena United's Boxing Day win over Coleraine. Picture: Press Eye.

Matthew Tipton hopes that the taste of Boxing Day success will encourage Ballymena United’s casual support to turn out more regularly.

The striker, whose late goal sealed the 4-3 win over Coleraine, was impressed by the noise generated from the home stand.

“I know it’s a holiday time and people maybe work on Saturdays, but if we had big crowds like that it would help the team, not only in terms of the support they gave us but it would also give the manager more funds to strengthen the team.

“Hopefully a few people who were there will think ‘I’ll come back and watch this team again’.

“It was an unbelievable game - it had everything you would want from a Boxing Day ‘derby’ - goals, incidents and, most important of all, a win.

“You can’t ask for much more - even the big fat lad up front scored twice!

“Even when they got it back to 3-3, you were wondering if the momentum was then with Coleraine but we managed to get the winner.

“Mark McCullagh should have scored himself but he said the ball hit him in the face! Luckily enough it fell for me and I was in the right place, between about six players who were all swinging at it.

“If you take out the penalties I’ve scored, my career total of combined yards for goals wouldn’t be much more than that!

“But that’s where goals are scored. Obviously, as a striker, I’m going to say it’s a skill being in there to tap it over the line - Gary Lineker made a career out of it!

“Thirteen goals isn’t as good as what I wanted, I think I could have had more but I think people would have been happy enough if I had got to 13 by the turn of the year.

We have a cup final coming up in a few weeks and I think if we can carry we showed through December into the next couple of league games and the Irish Cup, that takes us up to just over a week before the final.”

Tipton is also relishing linking up with Gary McCutcheon when the Scot returns to the Showgrounds in January.

“I’ve known Cutchy throughout my time in the league and he’s a brilliant footballer. Hopefully with me holding the ball up, that will enable him to do what he does best. We also have Darren Boyce playing well and David Cushley to come back in, and with possibly some new faces - I’ll be lucky if I get in the squad!” added Tipton.