Glentoran assistant manager Kieran Harding hailed his team’s performance following their 4-1 win over Newry City at the Oval on Friday night.
Goals from Curtis Allan and Robbie McDaid had the East Belfast boys in the driving seat by the interval, but a Conall Delaney strike just after the break helped throw Darren Mullen’s boys a lifeline.
Skipper Marcus Kane led by example by heading a third for the home team, before young Dylan Davidson was introduced with 10 minutes remaining. He proceeded to bag the goal of the match – a stunning 40-yard drive that arrowed into the top corner.
“We dominated the first half and deserved our 2-0 lead,” he said. “But when they pulled one back we looked a bit ropey. They put us under a bit of pressure.
“We were a bit edgy for a spell. But we settled down again. Once we got the third goal, that was the killer. That was the key to the victory. The fourth goal was a wonder strike which put the icing on the cake.
“These guys have got resilience. They stuck at it and dealt with it for that wee spell when we were under pressure. I thought we came out worthy winners.”
Harding believes there is now a new belief in the side, adding: “There is a new determination and hunger in the squad, something that was missing last season.
“Another thing is the fact that they are fighting for their places as well.“We’ve added four players with a lot of quality. Now, suddenly, there is competition for places.
“Players want to stay fit to stay in the team. There is a hunger and an appetite about them.
“So, long may that continue. It’s only six games in to the season. We are not getting carried away in any shape or form.”
Newry City boss Darren Mullen insisted poor defending was the cause of the defeat.
“Some of our play was very good and I don’t think the score line was a fair reflection on the game. We need to defend as a team and take responsibility as a team. That’s just the way this League is going to be . . . there are going to be good days and bad days.”
“But there were certain positives to take away from the game.
“At lot of our lads haven’t played at this level, so coming to places like the Oval can be daunting enough.
“We looked composed at times, But the ball was just coming back to easily once we got to the final third.
“I told the players after the game to not let the result deflate them. Yes, be annoyed and have a look at your own performance.
“We were beaten (4-0) by Ards a few weeks back and the manner on how we lost that night was unacceptable, but I can’t say that about this performance.
“Basic errors have cost us. We now have Crusaders next up. Playing the League champions away from home is not something to be feared.
“Yes, it’s going to be a difficult game coming off this defeat. It doesn’t help in terms of preparation, but at the same time, we have acquitted ourselves well so far.
“We need to cut out the basic errors to give ourselves a chance.”