Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran 1-3 Ballymena Utd: Super Shevlin tipped to reach the top

By David Mason

Matthew Tipton believes Ballymena United fans have yet to see the best of teenage sensation Matthew Shevlin.

The 16-year-old bagged his fourth goal of the season in the impressive win over Glentoran at the Oval on Saturday - and Tipton knows there are more to come.

It was the Sky Blues' - they were actually playing in yellow - first win of the Danske Premiership campaign and, although they remain at the foot of the table, the assured performance suggests there are better days up ahead.

They failed to panic when Curtis Allen shot Eddie Patterson's ailing troops into an early lead. Instead, they rolled up their sleeves with Shevlin ramming in an equaliser within 60 seconds.

Goals from Tipton and new signing Willie Faulkner put the icing on a good day's work for Glenn Ferguson's braves.

"Matthew has been brilliant," said Tipton. "I have the responsibility of talking him through games, helping him along, but he's been super. He's playing with the freedom you would expect from a 16-year-old. He's not afraid of missing chances. Every time he gets the ball he thinks he's going to score. It's refreshing to see. He is brilliant to play with."

Tipton insists the result will be the springboard to better things for United.

"We have to use this result as the start to our season. We can't rest on that, we've got to go again next week against Cliftonville," he added. "There is no point in beating Glentoran at the Oval and then losing to the Reds.

"We need a similar type of performance."

"But I backed my ability to put the ball across the keeper and into the bottom corner."

Glentoran boss Eddie Patterson was far from impressed with his struggling squad and has promised to put things right at the Oval.

"Some of the guys were not up to the standard required for Glentoran Football Club," he said. "Yes, they are good players. But good players perform week in week out. That's not happening.

"I know they can do a lot better, not only from a performance point, but in terms of their work rate. It's something I'll have to deal with."

GLENTORAN: Hogg, Kane, Holland, Birney, Howland, Allen (Scullion 51 mins), McCaffrey (Gordon 83 mins), McAlorum (Nelson 83 mins), Addis, Caldwell, McMenamin.

Subs not used: Garrett, McCullough.

BALLYMENA UNITED: Nelson, Ervin, Taylor, Roger (Thompson 73 mins), Ruddy, Faulkner, Kane, Jenkins (Ferguson 83 mins), Cushley (Millar 90 mins), Tipton, Shevlin.

Subs not used: Henderson, Hanley.

Man of the match: Matthew Shevlin

Match rating: 8/10

Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)

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