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Ferguson can be Sky high on 500

By Gordon Hanna

Glenn Ferguson remains ice cool amid all the hype surrounding the imminent arrival of a golden milestone in his glorious career.

In case you don't know already the Linfield Legend requires just one more strike to chalk up a magnificent 500 goals.

Spike eased himself a tad closer to the magical figure with a 42nd minute penalty against the club which sold him to the Blues in 1998 in a record £55,000 deal.

That was after he had bagged 227 goals in eight seasons for the Mourneview outfit, in itself a magnificent achievement.

Failure to reach the landmark against his old club was disappointing for the fans, but it didn't worry the Irish League's only Grandfather.

And it won't disappoint the 38-year-old either if it doesn't come against bitter rivals Glentoran in the Big Two 'Live' on Sky Sport Boxing Day spectacular ? provided the Blues win.

Ferguson confides: "I'll be glad when I get the goal if only to stop all the talk. I'm a team man and while it would be nice to score it against the Glens it is more important for us to win the game.

"Seriously I don't care who scores, even Noel Bailie, provided we walk away with the points to keep us breathing down Cliftonville's neck."

Ferguson didn't have many opportunities this time round against a team who have now lost six league games in a row.

When the penalty chance came along he grabbed it to take his tally to 499!

For that he pointed to the fine marking job done by defenders Johnny Cowan and Gavin McDonnell.

Fergie conceded: "They didn't give me much of a sniff. I scored the penalty and perhaps had a couple of half chances.

"They are both big and strong and were up for it."

It was Cowan who suffered when referee Ken Ginnett awarded the Blues a spot kick after a pass from Ferguson intended for strike partner Peter Thompson hit his hand.

Even Ferguson thought it was a soft award, but didn't hang around and smashed the ball high into Tuda Murphy's net.

That goal had Linfield sitting pretty on 2-0 because earlier Thompson made the most of good work by Michael Gault to break the deadlock.

Cowan's revenge in first-half injury time tossed Glenavon a life-line, the defender firing low past Alan Mannus to punish the Blues for a poor clearance.

And it was sweaty hands time with just over an hour gone when Ginnett awarded another soft penalty, this time for hands against William Murphy.

David Bracken, just like Ferguson, wasted no time in despatching the ball beyond Mannus to level the game at 2-2.

With a precious point within their grasp Glenavon let it slip allowing Jamie Mulgrew to squeeze home a winner from an acute angle.
Blues boss David Jeffrey said: " I knew Glenavon would raise their game because they did it against Glentoran and Cliftonville and I warned my players not to relax or switch off.

"They did and Glenavon came back at us. They didn't give up so I'm delighted for a very hard earned and hard fought three points.

" Some might say we made hard work of it, but that would be a disservice to Glenavon."

Belfast Telegraph


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