Glenn Ferguson hailed the continued progress of his Ballymena United side as they recorded a third straight Danske Bank Premiership win.
Second half goals from Mark Surgenor and Shane Dolan helped complete a hat-trick over victories over Ards, Warrenpoint and Ballinamallard after United had lost all three of the corresponding fixtures earlier in the campaign.
“The boys are becoming a wee bit more aware of how to win games ugly and what to do at the right times,” said Ferguson.
“We knew it was going to be difficult but a clean sheet and three points, we have to be happy.
“Earlier in the season we lost 1-0 at Ballinamallard and probably played better than that.
“Allan Jenkins has been super at holding the ball up and chasing and closing down up top.
“It’s always great keeping a clean sheet - a lot of the time defences don’t get credit in the same way that strikers maybe do.
“There are games we have a chance of winning, more so than some other games, because they are teams in and around us but there are no games in this league you should automatically win.
“Thankfully this time around with Ards, Warrenpoint and Ballinamallard we’ve won all of them.
“Hopefully that has shown a wee bit of encouragement that we’re going in the right direction when it comes to teams in and around us,” added Ferguson.
United could even afford the luxury of missing a penalty in between their two goals, with David Cushley’s spot kick beaten away by keeper Alvin Rouse, who had brought down Allan Jenkins in the first instance.
Earlier, Rouse’s decision to come 15 yards from his goal-line to try to collect Aaron Stewart’s deep cross backfired as the keeper lost out to Allan Jenkins in the air and Mark Surgenor was on hand to steer the ball home.
And after the penalty miss, United were finally able to secure victory 15 minutes from time when Shane Dolan volleyed home from close range from a Cushley corner.
Ballinamallard boss Whitey Anderson was left with an all-too-familiar frustration at his side’s inability to hit the net.
“Before Saturday, Warrenpoint were the only side to have scored less than us - you can be subjective with statements at times but there’s no getting away from those statistics.
“I thought our back four were tremendous yet we ended up losing 2-0 but if you don’t take the chances when you’re on top, you get punished.
“When we play Ballymena, both teams match each other up in the middle of the park and there’s not a lot of space.
“We created good opportunities but we lacked a bit of quality in the final third.”