Eddie Patterson’s young guns ready for Portadown finale

Glentoran's Jordan Stewart celebrates scoring against Linfield
Glentoran's Jordan Stewart celebrates scoring against Linfield

Glentoran manager Eddie Patterson will again let his ‘kids’ out to play in Saturday’s final Premiership game of the season against Portadown at Shamrock Park.

The youthful Glens produced a wonderful performance against Big Two rivals Linfield at Windsor Park on Tuesday, claiming their first victory of the season over their biggest rivals.

Young guns Danny McKee and Jordan Stewart - he is off to Peterborough United on trial next week - grabbed goals that made it a miserable final game for David Jeffrey in front of home supporters.

Patterson’s fledglings will be hoping for a repeat performance down Mid Ulster way.

“The team will be along similar lines that went into action against Linfield,” said Patterson. “We had two 20 year olds in the centre of our defence in Stephen Gordon and Johnny Addis. Jason Hill was the only one with only sort of experience. Niall Henderson, who is a midfielder, operated at right back.

“When you go throughout the team it is very similar. John McGuigan is only 20 and the two boys up front, McKee, who is still a youth team players, and Stewart, are only 18.

“Quite a few of the boys are under contract for another year. It gives us a chance to work with them over the summer. They are the future of this club.”

Patterson’s player plight is eased slightly due to the return of defender Willie Garrett and striker Curtis Allen, who was sent off the 3-0 league win over Crusaders.

Meanwhile, Portadown boss Ronnie McFall is hoping to end the season on a positive note.

Tuesday’s defeat to Cliftonville means the Ports will finish fourth this season – and miss out on European qualification.

McFall believes injuries and a small squad denied the club a higher position.

“We were working off a squad of 16 this season, and we didn’t bring anyone ion during January,” he said.

“We also had a number of players sidelined with long-term injuries which didn’t help. So to finish fourth says a lot about the effort of the players.”