Ferguson admits ‘relief’ at last-gasp victory

Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson. Picture: Press Eye.
Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson. Picture: Press Eye.

Glenn Ferguson admitted that relief was the over-riding emotion after Ballymena United’s last-gasp win over Dungannon Swifts on Saturday.

David Cushley’s stoppage time winner ended a run of three straight defeat for the Sky Blues - a result which prompted Swifts boss Darren Murphy to resign at the end.

“My post-match interview last week was we’ll play a hell of a lot worse and get a result and that is exactly what happened,” said ferguson.

“People say football is a strange game. The performances over the last three games have been of a high standard and I thought if we took that into the game against Dungannon, I thought we could get a good win and score a couple of goals.

“I usually try to stay calm and give constructive criticism at half-time but to be honest I flew off the handle at half-time because of the lack-lustre performance.

“But the players were on the back foot - they didn’t want to perform.

“After Tippy got sent off I thought ‘here we go again’ - we missed another penalty and we’re going to get caught again.

“Thankfully I think Tony Kane and Gavin Taggart epitomised what I asked them to do. They went and won tackles, got on the ball, won headers and tried to drive us forward.

“If you want the ball to drop to someone 12 yards out who has the hardest shot at this club it’s David Cushley - it just so happens the one he miskicks goes in.

“It was a relief, not only for me but for the players.

“It could have been a whole lot worse - Dwayne Nelson has pulled off the best save he’s going to make this season or any season and it has kept us in the game, so as much as Cush is the matchwinner, Dwayne deserves a lot of credit as well.

“We knew in the previous games we would have to play to our best to get something out of them and I thought we were unfortunate not to get something out of all three games so it was important we stopped the rot.

“When you’re at home against a team who’s in an around where you are it’s important you pick up points.”

Ferguson also admitted he is concerned about his side having missed three penalties in their last four games.

Jim Ervin became the latest Ballymena player to fail from the spot when his effort was kept out by Andy Coleman, following misses earlier this month by Matthew Tipton and David Cushley.

“I think (goalkeeping coach) Wes Lamont said he wanted to take the next one!

“I’m just going to leave it up to the players - whoever feels confident on the day and whoever feels they want to get the ball and stick it in the net, that’s the most important thing.

“Cush’s wasn’t a bad penalty at Glenavon, Jim’s wasn’t bad but it’s something we need to sort out - who can consistently score from the penalty spot.

“The penalty misses have been at important stages of the game that can make a difference in the outcome, like the first two,” added Ferguson.