Tipton relieved to open United goal account

Matthew Tipton celebrates with team-mate Gavin Taggart after opening the scoring in Ballymena United's 3-0 weekend win at Dungannon Swifts. Picture: Press Eye,
Matthew Tipton celebrates with team-mate Gavin Taggart after opening the scoring in Ballymena United's 3-0 weekend win at Dungannon Swifts. Picture: Press Eye,

Matthew Tipton had double reason for celebration at Stangmore Park on Saturday.

Not only did the striker open his Ballymena United goalscoring account, he also notched another personal milestone with his two goals in the 3-0 win over Dungannon Swifts.

“I had never scored against Dungannon in my four years in the Irish League,” Tipton told Times Sport.

“They were the one team I hadn’t managed to score against, so they must have been my bogey team.

“Three-nil maybe sounds like it was an easy game but we had to put in a shift to get what we got.

“The first goal was a mistake which I managed to capitalise on but I thought they were starting to get on top at the time when we scored our second.

“For the first goal they were trying to play it out from the back and if you get close enough to them, they odd time they can take a bad touch and that’s what happened. I managed to win the ball back and that put me through on goal.

“I was expecting a bit of a roasting from the manager at half-time because we hadn’t played all that well in the first half.

“But to get the second goal gave us that cushion and then to get one quickly at the start of the second half managed to put it to bed and we managed to keep the ball a bit better in the second half

“Not only did Neal Gawley put my second goal on a plate for me, he handed me a knife, a fork and a napkin and said ‘there you go’.

“He has won the ball on halfway, run 40 yards at pace, beat the full-back and then whip in a cross of that quality shows he’s a player on top of his game at the minute.

“I’m always going to be judged on my goals - managers sign me on that basis.

“It’s well known that the manager said that if he could get a striker who could put 20-plus goals on the table, then Ballymena United could do well.

“We were top of the league after three games without me scoring, which took the pressure off me a bit.

“The manager and staff have been telling me to keep doing what I’m doing and the goals will come but regardless of what anybody says, for me, it’s still a relief to get off the mark.

Tipton insists: “Why shouldn’t Ballymena United be at the top of the table? If you get a good start, you can maybe cling on in there and ride the wave.

“If we keep winning, we’ll stay at the top of the league.

“I’m not stupid enough to go out and say we’re going to win the league but let’s enjoy it,” adds Matthew.