Glebe Rangers returned to competitive football on Saturday when they faced Limavady United in the Intermediate Cup second round.
The game had been postponed several times due to the Roesiders Irish Cup commitment and it was the visitors who currently sit top of the Championship 2 table, who were favourites to progress.
Glebe Rangers manager Jason Wilmont has always been very clear that the league is his main focus and he planned to use Saturday’s cup game as a means to blow away the cobwebs of the festive period and to iron out any rustiness within the side following a long spell without a competitive match.
However, Glebe showed exactly what they were capable off playing some good football and showing a battling spirit to hold Limavady to 0-0 at the end of full time.
The Ballymoney men had several chances to take the lead but couldn’t get the ball in the net whilst at the other end, Glebe’s keeper Fullerton produced several superb saves to keep a clean sheet to send the tie into extra time.
Limavady broke the deadlock but Glebe kept fighting to get the equaliser which they did through Alan Sheppard and despite several attempts on goal in the dying minutes of added time they were unable to snatch the winner sending the game into penalties.
Wilmont’s men kept cool to win 4-3 in the penalty shoot out and secure a place in the third round against either Knockbreda or PSNI at the Riada Stadium on Saturday 23rd January.
Manager Wilmont was delighted with the win, however, what pleased him most was the team spirit and commitment shown by all of his players.
“I definitely think the better team won,” said Jason. “I thought we were very good. We had a wee chat before the match and we knew we would be rusty but all I asked them for was 110% effort every Saturday and if they gave me that and at the end of the season if it wasn’t good enough then we have at least tried our best.
“On the basis of Saturday’s performance, they were unbelievable and shows they can play against the best teams. We tired later on and we knew that was going to happen and even when we went a goal down in extra time the reaction was brilliant and I couldn’t ask for any more from the boys, I was very proud of them.
“It’s a cup game and it’s nice to progress in the cup but my focus is on the league campaign and next week’s big game against Queen’s. This win proves they can do it and they are more than capable of beating teams like that.”
Captain Willie Beckett agreed with his boss that Saturday’s victory over Limavady showed exactly what Glebe “The performance on Saturday against Limavady was exactly what we needed,” said Beckett. “Regardless of the result, we knew that we needed to get back to the form which gave us good success earlier in the season and that meant hard work and togetherness.
“Every single member of the squad gave their all in the game and never gave up even when we went behind. Limavady United are a top side and it takes great character to respond positively in that situation.
“This win gives us a much needed boost going into our next league game against Queen’s this Saturday but we must not get complacent and let our performances drop in any way, we need to maintain the drive and commitment we showed against Limavady for the rest of the season..
“A run in a cup would be nice however it is no secret that league points are our top priority this season and we are desperate to start 2016 with three points this week.”
Glebe Rangers play Queen’s at the Riada Stadium on Saturday with a 2pm kick-off.