Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran boss Young lavishes praise on goal hungry Gibson

By Chris Holt

Glentoran boss Scott Young has hailed the class of striker Richard Gibson after the bustling forward bagged a hat-trick against Lisburn Distillery on Tuesday to fire the Glens into the final of the Paddy Power County Antrim Shield.

There were eyebrows raised when Young brought Gibson to east Belfast in January from Ballymena United, with the striker not exactly boasting a prolific goalscoring record in recent years.

Gibson then struggled with injuries in the early stages of his Glens career and didn’t make the immediate impact that fans and the manager would have hoped for.

However, this season it has been a different story with Gibson battling his way into the starting line-up after some impressive performances from the bench and his form was capped off by that impressive treble at Ballyskeagh.

And Young was delighted to see the big striker do his bit to help the Shield holders book their place in another decider with a resounding 5-1 win.

“He has been excellent since he came to the club in January but at the time he had a problem with his knee,” said Young.

“He had a great pre-season though and since then he has been magnificent and the players and the fans have been desperate to see him do well.

“You saw the fans’ reaction to the goals because they lap him up and I am delighted for him to get a hat-trick.”

Young added: “You are just grateful to be in the final and we know it will be one hell of a tough game to win but to get to the first final of the season is very, very pleasing.

“Big Richard scored three goals and we are delighted with that but obviously the most important thing was that we tried to get ourselves into a final which we have done and you would have taken a scrappy, scrappy game, a 1-0 win but thankfully we managed to score five goals.”

Young’s opposite number Tommy Wright also paid tribute to a striker as veteran Davy Larmour made his Whites debut in the drubbing.

Former prolific Linfield forward Larmour joined Distillery from Larne in the summer and was unlucky to miss a goalscoring opportunity when the home side were just a goal down.

“You can see he is a class player,” said Wright, who takes his side to former club Ballymena United on Saturday.

“You never lose that movement, that touch and that control which he has and he is a bit disappointed not to have made it 1-1.

“But he played extremely well, all our lads played extremely well but again we gave goals away from set plays.

“The most disappointing thing for us was that at 3-1 we were still in the game and our heads went down.

“Maybe that is understandable given the run we are in at the minute.

“I am pleased how we played — it was much better than Saturday. To put so much into the game and get beat 5-1 is just so disappointing.”

Wright added: “We played really well and hit the post twice, hit the bar once, the keeper has made a couple of good saves, one great one in the second-half but we shot ourselves in the foot again with individual errors for the goals.

“I am disappointed for the players who put a lot into it.”

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