Wakehurst boss thrilled with victory over Queen’s

Wakehurst manager Ian Gregg. Picture: Press Eye.
Wakehurst manager Ian Gregg. Picture: Press Eye.

Wakehurst manager Ian Gregg believes his side’s performance in their weekend Belfast Telegraph Championship Two win over Queen’s University as their best for some time.

The Ballymena ended a poor recent run of results by beating last season’s Irish Cup semi-finalists 3-2 at Mill Meadow.

“In terms of the intensity and quality of the performance, it was reminiscent of the levels we reached two years ago when we had that run of seven straight wins,” Gregg told Times Sport.

“Some aspects of individual players’ play were phenomenal, such as Jordan Lemon’s passing, Conor Gregg’s finishing and Andy Laughlin’s work-rate and as a team, we were able to dig in and defend without the type of implosion we have seen in some matches this season.

Wakehurst went in front on 15 minutes when Lemon’s teasing cross was headed into his own net by a Queen’s defender.

The Ballymena men doubled their lead on 26 minutes when Lemon produced a marvellous pass with the outside of his boot into the path of leading scorer Conor Gregg who produced yet another sumptuous finish to chip the keeper.

When the students pulled a goal back just three minutes after half-time, there were fears that Wakehurst’s good work might be undone but they battled well and regained their two-goal lead on 65 minutes when Ryan Young, on the right flank, got to the ball ahead of the cut the ball back for Andy Laughlin to steer home a shot.

Even though Queen’s pulled a goal back with 15 minutes left, Wakehurst were able to hold on for their fourth league win of the campaign.

The only downside was a potentially serious knee injury to midfielder George Young which, it is feared, could be cruciate ligament damage.

“Our physio Cameron Steele was able to attend to George at the scene and once the swelling goes down, we’ll send him for a scan this week and keep our fingers crossed that it might not hopefully be as serious as first feared,” added Gregg, whose side have no match until December 6, when they face Derriaghy in the fourth round of the Irish Cup, with a potential fifth round meeting with one of the Premiership’s ‘big guns’ a major incentive.

Wakehurst: Maybin, Colville, Swann, Crawford, R Young, Lemon, G Young, O Gregg, Price, Laughlin, C Gregg. Subs: Tolan, Stevenson, Mellon, Erwin, R Gregg.