PAUL Gaston breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday after his beat Nortel in the Steel and Sons Cup.
Ballymoney will now face Dundela in the next round.
Stephen Lyons was the man of the moment for Gaston’s men as he hit home the only goal of the tie on the hour mark.
Speaking to Times Sport on Monday, Gaston was pleased with his side’s performance.
“It was pleasing to get through to the next round.
“Nortel are a very physical side, and we had a lot of players missing on Saturday, but we got the win and that’s all that matters.”
Connor O’Boyle and Mark Dempsey were singled out for praise by the Ballymoney manager for their efforts. Gaston also praised his goal scorer.
“Stephen Lyons has been a great player for us this season.
“His fitness levels are very good and he’s now our top goal scorer.
“Credit is also due to the youngsters O’Boyle and Dempsey - they were good, and were helped along by our more experienced players.”
Gaston’s Ballymoney travel to Portstewart this Saturday.
“I know that Gary [Taylor] and Aaron [Forgrave] will have their boys up for this tie.
“Portstewart beat us twice last season, but I know they have made a lot of changes this season, and like ourselves they too are a young side.
“I have no doubt it will be a typical derby tie, and I just hope that I’ll be the one smiling at the end,” joked Gaston.
Ballymoney have a few injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s game. Ciaran Ferry had to leave the field with a knee injury on Saturday and Ian Christie is also a doubt.