The smile was back on Whitey Anderson’s face again on Saturday as his side produced a resolute display to exorcise the demons from their 11-0 hammering at Portadown seven days previous.
The affable Ballinamallard boss admitted the result at Shamrock Park had hurt him and everyone connected with the club.
And to make matters worse Anderson was part of the Green and White Army which travelled to Luxembourg to witness Northern Ireland’s embarrassing defeat to the European minnows.
But his love affair with the game was back in full flow again following Saturday’s victory over Coleraine, as the Mallards produced the type of display we have become accustomed to.
“The players were well up for it this week,” said Anderson.
“We knew we had to get back to basics and work hard and getting our shape right, all the things we were doing well last year.
“This was especially the case in the second half. It wasn’t about tactics it was about digging in and trying to get that result.
“The criticism has hurt everyone connected to the club. But you saw the support we had here today, they sang from the first whistle to the last.
“You could see the delight on their faces at the end and we made sure the players went over and thanked them at the end because they were the ones I felt really sorry for last week.
“It won’t be a long trip home for us tonight, I think the boys will enjoy it tonight. They said before the game they were determined to get a good result so the long journey home wouldn’t be so bad.
“The players all looked at themselves individually, you could see that by the performance of our centre-halves Mark Stafford and Leon Carters, they are real winners and they led by example today.”
Substitutes Andy Crawford and Davy Kee provided the clinical edge for the Mallards, who bounced back from an early penalty miss by Jason McCartney, as they came off the bench to win the game.
Kee twice set up the veteran striker, who showed he still knows how to finish.
“When we missed the penalty early on I was thinking it was going to be another one of those days,” said Anderson.
“Jason usually puts them away, he didn’t today and it gave Coleraine the momentum.
“But thankfully Andy has come off the bench and won the game for us.
“Davy has been out for four weeks, we took a chance on him and it paid off as he comes off the bench to set up the two goals.
“It’s a great victory for us. I’m so pleased for the players and the supporters who have been hurting since last week.
“Coleraine had us under a bit of pressure, but we showed great resilience, we really had to dig deep.”
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney was left wondering as to how his side failed to take something from the game.
“It’s a bit like ground hog day for us. For the second week in a row we’ve conceded late goals to lose a game we were well on top in,” said a disappointed Kearney.
“We’ve had several great chances and a stonewall penalty turned down.”