Defeat to Dergview on Saturday has fuelled Lewis Harrison’s fire to bite back strong in the BetMcLean Cup this coming midweek.
The Bangor captain may have put Bangor in a promising position at a wet and windy Darragh Park, but the Tyrone team conjured up a rousing reaction when goals either side of half-time by Padraig Lynch and Niall McGinley ensured the maximum reward was the hosts to retain. Harrison, who opened the scoring from Seanna Foster’s delivery on 17 minutes – his first of the campaign as he made an immediate return to the starting line-up from suspension – felt that, although the Seasiders could have been more clinical in the latter stages in Castlederg, his side had not done enough to win the contest. But following his red card against Harland and Wolff Welders, subsequently serving a one-game ban as Lee Feeney’s squad overcame Newington, and despite the reversal, the former Linfield Swifts maestro is re-energised for the League Cup tussle with Coleraine on Tuesday.""
"The first 20 minutes, we started on the front foot, we were playing well, we got the goal and we were in a good position, but after that, we let our guard down, we let them (Dergview) get on top of us and impose the game on us, and they made it tough.
"The two goals… they were poor goals, cheap goals for us to give away. The first one came from a set-play and the second, it was just a break, they worked their way up the pitch and got through us too easily, and they punished us. The pitch was alright, it was well looked after, and we were able to create chances. I probably should have had another one, last kick of the game. The ball fell for me, I got my foot on it but I just wasn’t able to hit the target, and we had a few other chances late on to get something from the game too.
"(Michael) Halliday, he’d a header, he probably will feel he should be scoring that. In saying that, my shot is probably the kind of one you’d want Halliday on the end of, they’re the kind he would be able to put away, but it wasn’t quite to be. In the end, performance-wise, we weren’t at our best, but good thing is we have a chance to make it up quickly on Tuesday night.
Ahead of the Seagulls’ trip to the Ballycastle Road Showgrounds, Harrison – ever wary of the Bannsiders’ qualities – will embody a collective determination to shock Oran Kearney’s panel, who have made the last three Finals of NIFL’s showpiece knock-out competition.
"We know we’re facing a wounded animal on Tuesday night, but we’re going out there looking for a reaction, no doubt about that. For me, the more cups you’re in, the better. It means more legs in us, the chance to use up the whole squad, and there may be three or four changes for the game from Saturday which will keep us all on our toes.
“With the astroturf pitch up there now, it’s probably back to a little more like we are used to as well, which could help us put in a performance. The pressure’s off us, we’re not going in as favourites and, for me, that’s sometimes where we play our best football. So, we’re going with a plan to win, it’s another long trip and hopefully we’ll make it count.”