ADAM Lecky will return to his old stomping ground on Saturday when Ballymena United take on his former club Ballinamallard United in the last eight of the Sadler’s Peaky Blinders Irish Cup.
It’s the first time the ex-Mallard will have played a competitive fixture at the Ferney Park since moving to the Ballymena Showgrounds in 2018 following 18 months travelling and working in Australia.
The Belfast-based tax advisor is relishing his return but is well aware that the Mallards will be out to send the one-time Ferney favourite and his team-mates home with the proverbial tail between their legs.
“When the tie was drawn I was quite excited to get back down there to see a few familiar faces,” said the attacking midfielder.
“The draw could have been a lot worse for us, there are obviously some big guns still left, so to be drawn away to a Championship club you have to meet the challenge and realise it’s a great opportunity to reach the semis.
“On the flip side Ballinamallard will be delighted with the draw as well. They avoided the high-flying teams and they will have seen we have struggled this season.
“They’ll back themselves to turn us over. It’s probably a good draw for both teams.”
That may well be the case but there is no doubting that the Braidmen are under pressure going into this mouth-watering tie given they have performed so poorly in the league this season compared to the previous one.
Lecky admits that Ballymena’s eggs are all in one basket.
“Cup football is all about on the day, so much can depend on luck,” he continued.
“We had high hopes at the beginning of the season but for a whole myriad of different reasons it just hasn’t happen in the league. Ultimately, in terms of winning silverware, it comes down to the Irish Cup for us.
“This is our biggest game of the season so far, that’s how we are approaching it. It’ll not be a matter of turning up. We won’t be showing any complacency, to be fair teams managed by David Jeffrey rarely do. He never underestimates any team and Saturday will be no different.
“Our league form has gone to pot this season, the cup is the be all and end all for us.”
FULL STORY IN TODAY’S ULSTER HERALD