Belfast Telegraph

Colin Nixon relishing his time at high-flying Bangor

By David Mason

Veteran defender Colin Nixon admits the only way his up for Bangor.

The 36-year-old, who was surprisingly jettisoned by Glentoran after the 2013 Irish Cup win over Cliftonville, is back in a County Antrim final.

Having already paraded the massive trophy on seven previous occasions, who would bet against the Newtownards man from adding to his honours list?

Goals from Barry Walsh - his first of the season - and Ethan Boylan earned the Belfast Telegraph Championship One side a shock 2-1 semi-final win over Crusaders at Seaview on Tuesday night.

Even though Billy Joe Burns grabbed a late lifeline for the Premiership giants, it wasn't enough to prevent the Seasiders recording their second victory over Stephen Baxter's team inside the last four weeks.

"I had a lot of offers on the table when I left Glentoran, but I chose Bangor because I thought it was a club that was trying to go places," admitted Nixon.

"When I spoke with the manager, Garth Scates, about joining the club we had a plan that we reckoned would take two years to sort out... just to get us competing at a serious level.

"We probably over-achieved a little bit last season. We were unfortunate to lose the league title right at the finish. Obviously, due to the circumstances, we wouldn't have been promoted anyway, due to the club not applying for the licence, but the team was beginning to flourish."

Nixon, who won 22 medals in a glorious 18 year spell with the Glens, has been the backbone of the Bangor revival.

"It's extremely different from my time at Glentoran, when we were expected to win trophies," added Nixon. "I was looking a fresh challenge and I knew what size of a task it was going to be.

"Obviously, we haven't achieved anything yet, but it's great to be competing in a senior final for the first time in ages. I thought we worked really hard and deserved to win the game."

Nixon's experience is now valuable for Bangor - a team that is currently unbeaten in the league. Their only defeat came in the Steel & Sons Cup, by Carrick Rangers.

"Nothing is won at this time of the year," he adds. "We're in a final, which is great, but in terms of the league, we are in a good position, but that's all.

"I think we showed what we are about - we're the first team to do the double over Crusaders this season.

"I thought we played the best football.

"Credit to the boys, they've worked hard, they are all over the moon. It's a massive scalp to take."

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