Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran can keep Knight at bay: Fordyce

Glentoran's defence weathered a storm whipped up by Crusaders at the Oval — and another tough examination awaits them tonight in the shape of Coleraine hotshot Leon Knight.

The Londoner smashed in another two goals against Cliftonville on Saturday and he will now have Glentoran in his sights at the Showgrounds.

While a lot of praise has been heaped on the shoulders of strikers Matty Burrows and Daryl Fordyce, a defence superbly marshalled by Colin Nixon frustrated the Crues on Saturday and they will need to be at their best again this evening to combat Knight, Darren Boyce, Stephen Carson and co.

Nixon will make it appearance number 698 for the Glens if he plays and striker Fordyce (pictured) admits the hitmen have an extra spring in their step when frontmen are foiled at the other end.

“The strikers get more confidence and encouragement when the defenders are on their toes and performing well,” said the 23-year-old who has found the net 14 times this campaign.

“We know that the team is always going to create chances and if you miss one, another will come along so if we can stop goals going in at the other end it will give us a great chance of winning matches. Colin (Nixon) came back into the defence on Saturday and we defended a lot better than we did against Lisburn Distillery.

“Leon Knight has plenty of cross-channel experience and he has certainly been banging in the goals so we have to keep him quiet. No doubt the defence will be tested.”

The Glens trail leaders Linfield by five points and Fordyce admits they cannot afford to let that gap widen.

“We are down to the bare bones but everyone is working hard,” he added. “The win over Crusaders was an important one for us as we have to keep on Linfield’s tail and five points is a gap which can be closed.

“Manchester United did it at the weekend when they reduced Chelsea’s lead to two points and we have to do the same.”

Michael Hegarty is suspended for the Bannsiders while Neal Gawley could make a return for the Glens after recovering from a calf strain.

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