Glenavon assistant manager Paul Millar had a special word of praise for goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey following Saturday’s 5-0 victory.
On an afternoon in which Glenavon’s attacking strength proved key, Millar was quick to point out the importance of the last line of defence.
Statistics put forward in recent weeks by Glenavon player/manager Gary Hamilton confirmed club records show a significant improvement in the defensive records.
Tuffey has been at the heart of a rejuvenated Glenavon backline since arriving at Mourneview Park in 2015.
“Jonny made a key save and, although it was a true team performance from front to back, Tuffey was excellent in terms of his decision-making,” said Millar. “It terms of when to come for the ball or not, or when to punch or catch, not to mention his kicking and distribution.”
However, Millar emphasised the group strength on show against Ballymena.
“Ballymena have been on fire and were fired up for a win, with some blood-and-thunder challenges,” he said. “Not too many would have been predicting that result and it could even have been more.
“It is not about individuals but you can see now we have players available, that Gary Hamilton has built up a really good squad.
“Ciaran Martyn is in his mid-30s but still doing the business week in, week out.
“It must be a joy for Mark Sykes, as a teenager, to play alongside Ciaran.
“James Singleton has been busting a gut in training to get starting and we had a chat with him recently in which Gary told him to focus on training and he would get his chance.
“He was excellent and it was brilliant to see James back after such a long-term injury.
“It is natural to have doubts when you return from a long injury but he was brilliant.
“We had guys like Guy Bates, Fabio, David Elebert and Kyle Neill not starting, plus the kids coming up.
“It was the first time this season we had players in the correct positions.”