Belfast Telegraph

Modest Millar relishes his opportunity to impress in new role

Ballymena United 6-3 Ards

By Billy Weir

One of Ballymena United's unsung hometown heroes has been lauded by David Jeffrey for his displays this season.

Leroy Millar has bagged four goals from his new central midfield role and the Cullybackey man is loving life even though his nerves were a tad frazzled after Saturday's crazy encounter with Ards.

Millar was one of six separate marksmen for the home side, joining Gary Thompson, Andrew Burns, Cathair Friel, Joe McKinney and Kevin Braniff on the scoresheet, but the 22-year-old was just happy to pick up the three points.

"I've scored four and hit the bar in midweek but the main thing is winning. As long as we get three points that's all that matters," he said.

His manager, David Jeffrey, was full of praise for the modest Millar and delighted that he's growing into his new midfield role that means last season's star player Tony Kane is having to bide his time on the bench.

"We have been vying to get two people for each position and we looked at Leroy and Steven McCullough and after the Coleraine game I thought 'am I being totally fair to Leroy?' because that's not his natural position, he would much rather prefer to play in the centre," explained Jeffrey.

"He has come in and grabbed his chance by the scruff of the neck and what is really pleasing is that he is a boy from the town. He is a great role model to all the kids in the Academy."

Trailing 2-0 and 4-1, Ards twice got within a goal of their hosts thanks to efforts from Gareth Tommons, Ben Arthurs and Michael Ruddy before finally succumbing to a late double whammy.

Ballymena United: Brennan, Ervin, McCullough, Owens, Gault, Burns, Thompson, Millar, Friel, Braniff, McKinney. Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Kane, Flynn, McCloskey, Faulkner.

Ards: Johnston, Reece Glendinning, Ruddy, Byers, Taylor, Elebert, McMillan (Arthurs 63), Tommons, Hanley, Keke (McLellan 84), McAllister (Kelly 56). Subs not used: Liggett, Mitchell.

Referee: Ian McNabb (Portstewart)

Match rating: 8/10

Man of the match: Cathair Friel (Ballymena United).

Belfast Telegraph

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