Ballyclare manager David Dorrian has praised former boss Eddie Hill for ‘changing the game’ in Tuesday night’s 2-1 League Cup win over Wakehurst.
Strikes by Gary Brown and Adam McCart saw the Reds through to the second round of the competition and now they have the possibility of landing a plum draw against one of the Premiership giants.
Dorrian singled out second-half sub Hill, back playing after he quit as boss earlier this year, for special mention.
“We are plagued with injuries at the minute with half-a-dozen players out, so I opted to play it tight in the first-half,” said Dorrian. “Wakehurst have several experienced players who were with Ballymena United, and they fancied their chances, so I knew that we could not take any early risks against them.”
Asked about his change of tactics for the second-half, he added: “When Eddie Hill replaced Stuart King he changed the game. He held the ball up well and brought other players in to play, and from that point I thought that we were well on top. We started nervously against a team that had nothing to lose, but we finished worthy winners.”
Dorrian opted to start with only Randal Reid up front, but after turning round all square at 1-1, he reverted to the customary 4-4-2 formation, with skipper McCart delivering the knockout blow midway through the second session with a header from Samuel McIlveen’s corner.
Diminutive Brown, busy as ever on the right wing, opened the scoring in the 12th minute when he picked up a Reid pass and beat visiting keeper Maybin from the corner of the six yards area.
In the 21st minute Wakehurst were back on level terms when Foster pounced on a loose ball in the box and flashed the it past diving teenage keeper Jonah Nicholl, deputising for the injured Gregg Shannon.
Ballyclare are back in Championship 1 action on Saturday with a trip to Knockbreda (3pm).