Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Glentoran's hopes of re-signing Andy Smith in limbo

Winning smile: Mark Miskimmin celebrates his goal against Dungannon with Glentoran team-mate Stephen McAlorum
Winning smile: Mark Miskimmin celebrates his goal against Dungannon with Glentoran team-mate Stephen McAlorum

Glentoran 2 Dungannon Swifts 1: Glentoran manager Eddie Patterson has revealed that the club is doing all it can to cut the red tape that is preventing them from re-signing striker Andy Smith.

The former Northern Ireland international's return to the Oval, nine years after he left in a big money move to Preston North End, has been blocked by strict transfer guidelines.

And with three months left before the next transfer window opens, the Glens boss fears the deal will be left in limbo until the New Year.

"There is an issue over Andy having signed for Carrick Rangers at the start of last season when he went from professional status to amatuer status," said Patterson.

"That was cancelled within a day in order for him to move abroad, but as far as the Irish FA is concerned he is still an amateur and you can't sign an amateur outside the transfer window so he has to wait until January.

"There is a bit of digging and a bit of tooing and froing going on at the minute for information and we'll just have to see what we can do.

"At this moment in time we can't do anything until January."

Patterson signed Mark Miskimmin, Aaron Boyd, David Scullion and Johnny Addis in the summer to bolster his attack, but the Glens have scored only 12 times in 10 league outings – and five of those came in one game against Ards.

Boyd and Scullion missed Saturday's 2-1 win over Dungannon Swifts, while Addis started the game at left-back before being moved into the centre of defence after Jay Magee limped out of the action in the first half.

Miskimmin, however, scored the winner 10 minutes into the second half after he had provided the cross from which Marcus Kane grabbed the opener after just nine minutes, with Jamie Douglas levelling for Dungannon midway through the first half.

The Glens could have won the game comfortably, but a missed penalty from Jason Hill on his 300th appearance as well as the same player shooting wide of an open goal in injury time after Dungannon goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan had gone forward for a corner were among a string of chances that they failed to take.

All that added together is leading to frustration for the manager, but with Smith's signing unlikely to materialise in 2013 Patterson will keep faith with those strikers who are currently in the team.

"If we are taking our chances it takes the pressure off the back four and of late, over the last few games, we haven't been doing that," said Patterson.

"That's not a slight on the players, we have stated all along that we've been missing a natural goalscorer. Mark Miskimmin is just getting back to some sort of fitness. He's not 100 per cent fit, but we'll keep working with him and he scored a good goal – and a well worked goal too."

GLENTORAN: Morris, O'Neill, Magee (Hill, 29 mins), Callacher, Addis, Kane, M Clarke, McAlorum, O'Hanlon, (McGuigan, 89 mins), R Clarke, Miskimmin (Stewart, 75 mins). Unused subs: Henderson, Bradley.

DUNGANNON: Buchanan, McKerr (Hutchinson, 57 mins), Brennan, McCaffrey, Mulgrew, McCullough, Fitzpatrick, Harpur, Hazley (Doyle, 75 mins), Douglas, Boyce (Lavery 22 mins). Unused subs: Copeland, Glackin.

Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus).

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