Ballinamallard United boss Whitey Anderson was relieved to get back to winning ways on Saturday.
The Mallards bagged three vital points with a spirited 1-0 win over basement club Ards at Ferney Park.
A second half strike by midfielder David Kee earned the win – the midfielder finishing off after his initial penalty had been saved by Graeme McKibben in the 68th minute.
Anderson knew how important those three points were to his side.
“I’m just delighted with the result and the three points. Winning the game was a priority for us today,” he said.
“Three points were a must and it lifts us two places in the league table.
“Ards contributed to a good second half and we knew they would be looking for a win also.
“From that point of view it was a big one for both of us. But when you get three points and a clean sheet you can’t ask for much more than that.
“Ards had a good first half I thought. They played good football and got players into the right areas, but they didn’t really hurt us.
“I wasn’t happy with our play in that first half, particularly the intensity and workrate of our players.
“We sorted a few things out at the break and in the second half we were a much better side.
“We scored from the rebounded penalty kick, but we also hit the crossbar and had a number of other good chances before the end.”
Anderson added: “I felt it was a good response from the players because it was a difficult game for us.
“The league is tougher this year because the side that have come up are better. It’s all small margins now and we need to take every opportunity we can.
“It’s still very tight in the middle of the table and the next six weeks is going to be very important. We have Linfield and Cliftonville away now and we must play as we did in the second half in every single game. We just can’t switch on and off, we must play for the whole 90 plus minutes.
“It was exactly the result that we wanted with those tough games ahead.”
The Mallards’ winner came from the spot on 68 minutes after Andy Hunter was adjudged to have handled inside the box.
The home side could have wrapped up the game late on, but Steve Feeney struck the crossbar with a great header from a Cathal Beacom corner.
Ards boss Niall Currie was frustrated with Ballinamallard’s penalty which cost his side some reward.
“I don’t know what players are supposed to do,” he said.
“If you raise your hands, it is a penalty. But if you keep you hands by your side with a guy a yard away, what are you supposed to do then?
“I don’t think that was a hand to ball incident today.”