Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Home sweet home for Fordyce as Glens winning run continues

It can often be difficult coming home to play Irish League football when you've spent all of your career as a professional in England.

It makes it easier to settle into your surroundings if you can find the net occasionally.

And if you can score the winner in your team's first league game of the season, then it's a case of 'home, sweet home'.

That's what Glentoran's attacking midfielder Daryl Fordyce did on Saturday as his 68th minute goal against hard-working Armagh City ensured a victorious start to the east Belfast side's title challenge.

It was Fordyce's second of the season in four starts - his first strike coming against the same opposition on the opening day of the season - and according to boss Alan McDonald there is a lot more to come from the 20-year-old.

McDonald knows all about the ex-Portsmouth player from his role as a coach with the Northern Ireland Under-21s and has been delighted with how the young Sandy Row man has settled in at the Oval.

"He (Fordyce) has bedded in well," said McDonald. "He didn't play last week because he was away with the Under-21s and he played two games in a short period of time.

"He has come back and, obviously, it's been a difficult time coming back from Portsmouth.

"We all know, mentally, how hard that is for young boys from Northern Ireland.

" He's a first-rate kid, his attitude has been superb and his application to training has been brilliant. He's not a bad player as well!"

Fordyce's goal helped keep up Glentoran's 100 per cent start to the season.

Six wins in the CIS Insurance Cup and a couple of victories which has taken them into the semi-final of the County Antrim Shield, were added to by a win in the first league game on Saturday.

However, McDonald didn't want to dwell too much on the winning run as a whole, preferring to concentrate on the latest one.

"It's the first win in the league," he added. "It's nice to get off to a winning start because it takes the pressure off everyone.

"If it's a draw, then everyone starts to get nervous and wondering when the first win is going to come.

" You get the first win and it just keeps us ticking along.

"It's a long, long road but this gets us off to a good start."

In the other dressing room, there weren't too many disheartened players either.

City, having already shipped in eight goals in two games against the Glens this season, were happy with their performance.

Keeping the goal tally down to just one was no mean feat, especially as they were under incessant pressure for long periods.

And they had goalkeeper Stuart Addis to thank for the slender scoreline as the former Ballymena United and Glenavon stopper was in inspired form.

Now he is hoping they can build on the performance.

"The whole team did well," said Addis. "We battled hard.

"We were under the cosh in the first half but I thought the defence was solid. One mistake cost us.

"People have said that we aren't going to do much over the season and people are tipping us to finish last.

"I think we will win more games than we will lose over the course of the season.

" Everyone is writing us off and that is spurring us on, but I think we will do alright."