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Irish Cup: Midfield battle was key and we stood up to test, says Gordon

By Graham Luney

Steven Gordon says Glentoran are deserved Irish Cup winners after standing up and being counted in a fierce physical encounter.

The Glens midfielder and his partner in crime, Stephen McAlorum, went toe to toe with Portadown duo Michael Gault and Robert Garrett and the clashes were always going to be feisty.

"It was a real physical battle out there and nothing less than I expected," said Gordon after David Scullion's winner settled the contest in wet conditions.

"Gault and Garrett are two experienced pros. Gault is very physical and if I let him run over the top of me they could get on top of us. We had to stand up and be counted and we did that.

"When I walked out and saw the Sydenham End packed you knew how much it meant to the fans but as soon as the whistle went so did the nerves and we focused on the job."

Since returning from a loan spell at Ards, Gordon's star has risen dramatically at the Glens and he says lifting the Irish Cup is a "dream come true".

"Last year I was out on loan at Ards and trying to prove myself," he added. "I got injuries and was played out of position and when I came back to The Oval I didn't feature much for the first few months.

"But I remained patient, got in for a League Cup game and haven't looked back. The start of the season was difficult but I didn't throw the head up and it really is a dream come true to win the Cup at The Oval.

"You always have that belief you can win a competition when you're still in it and we were disappointed not to make other finals. Going through the rounds in this competition and beating Crusaders gave us the belief we could win it."

If Ronnie McFall resembled an angry grizzly bear in his post-match press conference, his counterpart Eddie Patterson adopted the cat that got the cream look.

Nothing could wipe the smile off the Glentoran manager's face but big decisions are going to have to be made at the club in the coming days. Patterson has one year left on his contract and the club's board are going to have to convince him to stay on and fight the good fight.

The Glens boss will also be saying 'show me the money' as he wants to inject more experience into the squad to keep his young warriors travelling in the right direction.

When asked about his future at the club, the former Cliftonville boss said: "That depends on what happens over the next week. Right now the boys deserve to lap up their adulation and it wouldn't be fair to take that spotlight away from them.

"We faced budget cuts after the last Irish Cup win and now it's up to the board to talk to me. I've another year in my contract."

Fresh from lifting the Irish Cup for the second time in three years, Elliott Morris has signed a two-year extension to his contract which was due to run out at the end of the 2015-16 season.

The Glentoran skipper, who has made 579 appearances, voluntarily accepted the two-year extension on reduced terms.

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