The delight was plain to see as the Portstewart players celebrated with staff after they secured a fine win over derby rivals Glebe Rangers at the Riada Stadium on Saturday.
After a run of bad results, Gary Taylor’s side picked the perfect week to get back on track with a 3-1 win over Jason Wilmont’s Glebe Rangers.
Three fine goals, the first from mid fielder Lee Forgrave and two from Chris Hanson secured the much awaited victory.
Speaking after the game the Ports boss was thrilled with the display: “I am delighted to finally get the monkey off our backs.
“We made a number of changes - Mark Mearns, Ryan McAllister and Chris Hanson came in and they did very well.
“Both Means and Hanson men have had work commitments and Ryan was carrying an injury, so we have been waiting to get them in the squad.
“Chris Hanson gave us great pace up front and he scored two great goals. Lee’s [Forgrave] goal was a screamer, it was good to get Lee and Matt [Hynds] back into their own positions again.”
Taylor said he felt his side were in control for the first half and most of the second.
“We got a bit nervous when Glebe pulled a goal back through Ricky Dulnlop. Joel pulled off a great save from Ricky Dunlop in the first half too.
“We all worked hard on Saturday, and it shows that we are all in this together.
“We have confidence now after that win, so I just hope we can take that into Saturday’s tie with Moyola.
“In past seasons they have been our bogey team, but if we can dig in like we did against Glebe we can take something from the game.
“The players had the right attitude on Saturday, we just need to build on this now.”
Commenting on an injury to Ryan Doherty, Taylor added: “Ryan is very close to coming back to training.
“He is a big loss to us.
“I know he is champing at the bit to get back, but he needs to be patient,” said Taylor.
Gary’s opposite number Glebe boss Jason Wilmont described the game as ‘frustrating’.
“I can’t tell you how frustrating that was.
“Last week we were superb and this week we created enough chances to win five games but couldn’t put anything away.
“We were still in the game at one goal down, but the second goal in the first minute of the second half killed us off.
“That’s the way it’s going to be I guess.
“It’s dog eat dog in this league and everyone is fighting for survival.
“Portstewart troubled us up front with their pace, but there’s no excuses for the chances we missed.
“It would have been ten times harder to score than to miss some of the chances, and you can’t miss them at this level or you will be punished and we were on Saturday.
“We got back to 2-1 and we were looking the better of the two sides and more like scoring.
“Next thing one big ball over the top and they scored and once you give another goal away like that then there is only one team in it.
“We also had Ian Christie red carded in the last minute.
“I thought he was our best player throughout the game, however he can be a hot head at times.
“The only good thing you can say is the other results worked in our favour, but we can’t keep depending on that,” admitted the Ballymoney man.
Portstewart will entertain Moyola Park this Saturday at Seahaven, 3.00 kick off.