Jenkins aims for repeat of last year’s Boxing Day heroics

Allan Jenkins admits that his two-goal display against Coleraine last Boxing Day ranks among the major highlights of his football career.

Allan Jenkins is relishing the Boxing Day 'derby' against Coleraine. Picture: Press Eye.

And the United skipper would love to repeat the trick as the two sides meet in the annual festive showdown at the Warden Street Showgrounds this Friday (3pm).

“There’s no doubt that that day is one of the best of my entire career - not just my time at Ballymena,” Jenkins told Times Sport.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“To score two goals against your biggest rivals in a ‘derby’ game is memorable stuff, particularly given that our record against Coleraine has been so poor in recent seasons.

“I should actually have had a hat-trick - I missed a chance near the end that was probably easier than the two I scored!

“We managed to end that run and we were unbeaten against Coleraine last season. Then we won the first game at their place this year before losing at home earlier in the season.

“It was a poor game where we gave ourselves too much to do by conceding two early goals so we will be looking to improve on that performance on Boxing Day, when there’s so much at stake.”

Jenkins will fancy his chances of getting his name on the scoresheet against the Bannsiders again, as he is currently in a good run of form in front of goal.

His close-range strike in the midweek League Cup semi-final win at Ballinamallard was his seventh of the season.

“I’m pleased with that sort of tally before Christmas.

“I think any midfielder would feel he has contributed if he reaches double figures during the season.

“If I can steer clear of injury and score another seven in the second half of the season, it would be my best total.

“I’m rolling back the years a bit here but I got 12 or 13 one season for Stranraer and in my last season at Morton I scored 10 or 11.”

Jenkins is also anxious that the Sky Blues turn around their wretched recent run of league form - a situation which eased slightly with Saturday’s important 2-1 success at Institute.

“Glenn said during his team talk before the cup semi-final that reaching the final could turn our season around and hopefully that will be the case.

“It’s great to have another final to look forward to but we have to make sure we keep picking up the points in the league in the meantime.

“We see it quite often in the Irish League that even winning two games in a row can lift you several places in the table because it’s so tight.”