Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Spike's special moment ... but Linfield ace would have preferred win to historic goal

Glenn Ferguson puts Linfield in front only for Stephen O'Neill to level late on for Cliftonville
Glenn Ferguson puts Linfield in front only for Stephen O'Neill to level late on for Cliftonville

Glenn Ferguson today admitted that scoring the first Irish Premier League goal in front of a live television audience was a special moment - but not as special as it could have been.

The Linfield striker put his side in front against Cliftonville in last night's Sky Sports clash at Solitude.

The Reds hit back through David McAlinden and then responded again with Stephen O'Neill levelling the scores at 2-2 after Thomas Stewart had restored the Blues' lead.

And that is why 38-year-old Ferguson claims that his goal could have been even more special.

"It was a special goal, but at my age every goal is special because I don't know when it could be my last one," he said.

"At the time I didn't really think about it being the first goal on Sky. It is nice to have scored on television with a lot of people watching the game, but it would have meant more to me if it had been the winner or if it had helped us win the match.

"And to be honest I'd have been happy not scoring if we would have won."

There were 3,000 fans at the match, with lots more watching at home and Ferguson believes that the television audience will have enjoyed the spectacle - even more than some matches at the top level.

" There was a lot of hype in the build-up to the match but players don't really think about that and once the match kicks-off you forget that it is on TV," he said.

"I spoke to a few people in work this morning who watched it on TV and they said it was a good game to watch. I thought it was an entertaining game, there were four goals in a match that swung both ways. It was a good game to show the league in a good light, much better than if it had been 0-0. Certainly I have seen worse matches in the English Premier League."

Defending champions Linfield already have one more point on the board than they did at the same stage last season after losing convincingly 3-0 to Cliftonville at Windsor Park on the opening day before going through the rest of the campaign unbeaten.

It is the second-half performance from last night that Ferguson wants to see repeated when the Blues host Limavady United at the weekend rather than the opening 45 minutes.

"We probably would have taken 2-2 before the start and definitely at half-time we'd have been happy to come out of it with a point because we didn't play well up until then," he said.

"When you go in front twice though you think you should win the game and we were better in the second-half. We won't know until later in the season if it was a point gained or two dropped."

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