VIDEO: Players ‘defended for their lives’ in derby win - Ferguson

Glenn Ferguson praised his side’s defensive performance in Ballymena United’s 2-1 weekend win at Coleraine.

“Goalscorers generally win matches but sometimes defenders can be equally important and that was what won us the match.

Michael Ruddy celebrates after scoring the winning goal for Ballymena United at Coleraine. Picture: Press Eye.

Michael Ruddy celebrates after scoring the winning goal for Ballymena United at Coleraine. Picture: Press Eye.

“We could have conceded three or four but we didn’t and that set us up to score at the other end.

“We’ve played a hell of a lot better than that and lot games this season but what I have told the players is that we’ve learned to ‘win ugly.

“We defended for our lives with clearances off the line but there are going to be days like that.

“Against Glenavon recently we played really well and lost - against Coleraine we were nowhere near that standard and won the game.

“I said to Oran Kearney afterwards they didn’t deserve that but ultimately it’s all about our supporters going home happy and us taking three points to stay joint top of the league.

“We won in an unconvincing manner but we’ve got to be happy about picking up three points having not played well.

“Coleraine will play worse than that and get points but as the old cliché says, it’s a funny old game.

“There will be occasions during the season when we do have blips and where we’ll drop points foolishly but we have the capability to put in better performances and win points.

“We have to take the positives - we defended well in certain areas and we worked tirelessly on set pieces and scored from another two today so the boys deserve credit.

“Gary Thompson sometimes gets stick in the dressing room about not scoring goals but he has got two in two weeks.

“Michael Ruddy was sent on to go a good defensive job on the left side and he popped up with the winner. I’m delighted for him because he has been patient, shown a really good attitude and waited his time. His time will come for more consistent playing time on the pitch and he went home as the matchwinner,” added Ferguson.