BALLINAMALLARD United goal hero Chris Curran admitted his team’s Premiership win over Linfield at Windsor Park was a “fairytale result”.
The Mallards hit the title holders with a late double whammy with goals from Curran and Liam Martin leaving David Jeffrey and his team totally shell-shocked.
Ryan Campbell shot the visitors into an early lead, but Brian McCaul fired in an equaliser before the break.
However, the last gasp double sent the small army of United fans into raptures – what a way to celebrate your first league appearance at the international venue.
“To be honest we defended for our lives for most of the day,” said Curran.
“We couldn’t believe it when the ref said there would be five minutes of injury time. We were still hanging on after I scored.
“There was just total elation when Liam got the third – we knew then that was the killer goal. It was a brilliant feeling.
“We worked hard during the week in getting our shape right. We knew Linfield would have all the possession. It was the case of us counter-attacking and making sure we capitalise on our chances.
“I just don’t know how far we can go in this league. The boss always preaches to us to take one game at a time. We never look beyond that.
“Our aim it to stay clear of relegation. We must make sure we don’t become complacent. To come here and get a result is a fairytale. We are now sitting on 20 points, if someone had if told me that at the beginning of the season, I would have laughed at them.
“I think the surprise element has gone to a certain extent – most teams now know what we are about. As long as we keep fighting for each other, we are going to make it difficult for other teams. Our success has basically been down to hard work.”
Campbell shot the Mallards into the lead on three minutes, firing lost past Alan Blayney, but Brian McCaul levelled near the break, taking advantage of the only lapse in concentration from the visiting defence.
Curran out paced the Blues back line to roll the ball tantalisingly into the bottom corner 12 minutes from time before substitute Martin punished the Blues in injury time – he was left with time and space to pick his spot.
“We’ll not be getting carried away. First and foremost, our aim is to stay in the Premiership,” said delighted United boss Whitey Anderson.
“I don’t really care where we finish, in terms of the league table. It’s maybe boring, but that’s the way it is.
“It’s a great adventure for everyone at the minute. Our biggest achievement was getting promoted to the Premiership. Our second biggest hurdle is to stay in it. It will not be easy, but we are going to have a damn good go at it.
“I just don’t know what else to say about this team,” he added. “We came up here to play 4-4-2. Our intention was to attack. At times we may have been very defensive, but we just couldn’t get out. Linfield pegged us back for long periods.
“Everything was right on the day – our discipline, the work ethic, our shape and we played good football when we could. It all boiled down to a good solid team performance. I don’t think we could get much better.”
What a different atmosphere a few yards down the corridor, where Blues boss David Jeffrey had his boys locked in the dressing room for over an hour after the final whistle.
“We had a pretty frank exchange of views,” he stated. “I suppose the general consensus is that we are being slaughtered by individual errors.
“Players are taking the responsibility for those, but it’s not good enough. I felt we were getting into a consistent run of form following recent results. But it just wasn’t there today. The players know it’s just not good enough and not acceptable.
“We are now 10 games into the season, but – and it’s a big BUT – we simply cannot continue with his level of inconsistency.”