BALLYMENA United boss Glenn Ferguson hailed goalkeeper Stuart Addis following Tuesday night’s dramatic 4-3 County Antrim Shield penalty shoot-out win over Linfield at the Oval.
The former Blues shot stopper saved twice from the spot which helped earn United their first trophy for 23 years.
“Stuartie left Windsor in the summer, so I think he knew what to expect in the penalty kick shoot-out,” said Ferguson.
“I think we deserved to win over the course of the 110 minutes.
“Linfield had a lot of the play, but they didn’t really trouble Stuartie all that much.”
Defender Davy Munster headed United into a first half lead, but Blues’ substitute Brian McCaul levelled midway through the second period from the spot.
A sudden death penalty decider always looked likely and it was midfielder Alan Davidson who emerged the hero by lashing home the winner.
David Cushley, Tony Kane, Allan Jenkins all hit the net for United, while Jim Ervin, Michael Cavill and McCaul replied for the Blues – it was their fourth successive Shield final defeat.
“We had a gameplan and it worked a treat,” added Ferguson. “We knew Linfield would hit us with everything in the second half. We were dealt a blow when Munster had to come off injured.
“But Allan Jenkins came on for his first piece of action since September and his experience rubbed off on the other lads.
“It’s a great night for the club.
“Hopefully, it’s the start of something good for Ballymena – they have waited long enough for this success.”