Hamilton enthused by Glenavon resilience after Ferney Park victory

Gary Hamilton stretches for the ball during Saturday's game at Ferney Park
Gary Hamilton stretches for the ball during Saturday's game at Ferney Park

Glenavon substitute Mark Patton broke Ballinamallard’s hearts with an injury-time winner at Ferney Park on Saturday.

It gave the Lurgan Blues a steal of the points in this tight Danske Bank Premiership encounter.

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton – who was sent from the dugout late in the game after protesting about a challenge on defender Gareth McKeown – was pleased with his side’s performance.

“It was a brilliant display by our boys and they are improving all the time from last year when we played Ballinamallard and lost three times,” he said.

“It’s not an easy place to come, and to come away with a victory is brilliant for the boys. Last year they turned us over three times and this year we have won two and lost one. There has been an improvement in the side and the results from last year.”

Reflecting on his sending off Hamilton said, “unfortunately you can’t talk about those things after games.”

He praised stand-in keeper James McGrath for his performance, and new striker Tiarnan Mulvenna who bagged his second goal in two games.

“James been playing junior football this year and this was his first game. He put in a professional performance and it is a credit to him and his make up as a person,” Hamilton said.

“Tiarnan’s got that nasty streak in him which you need as a striker. He’s been a good signing.”

Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson admitted he was gutted at the result.

“We had an excellent first half, our best in some time and I’m really disappointed for the players,” he said.

“It’s not a good run for us, but the boys are working so hard, but we must learn to concentrate for 90 minutes and not be punished like that.”

Glenavon took the lead after just two minutes when new signing Mulvanna lost his marker and headed home at the far post from a corner.

Ballinamallard levelled on 29 minutes when Mark Stafford headed home a David Kee free kick.

With the points looking shared, a mistake by Danny Keohane allowed Glenavon to break and from McGrory’s driven cross Patton was on hand to stab home.

Anderson pointed to the fact that Ballinamallard had lost three games this season in the closing minutes – against Crusaders, Warrenpoint and now Glenavon.

“I’m disappointed for the players,” he added.

“They worked tremendously hard. But there is an issue with concentration in the last few minutes and today in the first two minutes when they scored the first goal. That’s not good enough.”

“Some were ball watching and the ball went over their heads for a simple score. We need to be more focused in our concentration from start to finish.”