GLENTORAN fans must be sick of the sight of Glenn Ferguson!
Not only did he haunt the East Belfast club with cross-town rivals Linfield during his playing days, but he’s now at it again in a managerial capacity!
There is just something about the Oval that appeals to the former Northern Ireland striker, which was epitomised by Ballymena United’s performance on Saturday.
The Sky Blues maintained their excellent record at the Mersey Street ground . . . they are now unbeaten on 12 visits. And an worrying aspect for Eddie Patterson’s Glentoran is the fact they haven’t beaten United at home since January 2010!
“As a player, I loved coming here,” beamed Ferguson. “Obviously, scoring for Linfield against Glentoran made it a special place for me.
“This is a great venue to play football . . . it’s an old traditional ground and the pitch is always in good shape. It lets you get the ball down and pass it. Both teams tried to do that today.”
Ferguson admitted he was slightly disappointed he didn’t leave with all three Premier League points . . . although it took a blinding goal line clearance by United’s Johnny Taylor to prevent them from slipping down the drain.
The Sky Blues have now played most the ‘title pretenders’ in recent weeks and Ferguson concedes Ronnie McFall’s Portadown could pose the biggest threat.
“They impressed me,” he said. “We’ve had a difficult run of games . . . Portadown, Cliftonville, Linfield and Glentoran. Apart from our result against the Blues, I think we’ve done really well. Had I been offered four draws before those matches, I’d have taken it. We’ve picked up four points, so in a round-about way I have to be satisfied.”
Ferguson was by far the happier of the two managers, stating: “We could have left with all three points and I don’t think anyone would have argued.
“I’m happy with a point and more importantly a clean sheet.
“We created the best chances, especially in the second half. On another day, had we taken a little more care, one of them may have counted.
“We basically restricted Glentoran to half-chances, although Johnny Taylor did make a fantastic goal-line clearance in injury time.
“We came here with a game plan -- and it worked well for us.”
Glentoran’s back line had a ‘make-shift’ appearance about it with striker Johnny Addis partnering Jay Magee in the centre of defence.
“Johnny came in and didn’t let himself down,” said Glens manager Eddie Patterson. “He played there against Kilmarnock in a pre-season friendly. He did extremely well. But we decided to move him up front due to Mark Miskimmin’s injury problems. I think centre-back could be Johnny’s best role for us.”