Alan Kernaghan impressed with Glentoran ‘determination’

Glentoran's 'Francis McCaffrey with Ballinamallard's Michael McCrudden and Shane McCabe
Glentoran's 'Francis McCaffrey with Ballinamallard's Michael McCrudden and Shane McCabe

Three second half goals gave Glentoran a valuable three points against Ballinamallard on Saturday.

Despite Ballinamallard pulling level twice, the Oval side showed too much craft in the second half with Francis McCaffrey netting two.

Glentoran manager Alan Kernaghan said; “I felt we deserved the three points considering we had lots of possession in the first half. I felt we should have been further ahead at the half time break, but we showed real determination and character in the second half.

“I knew we would get chances in the second half and to get the three points is really important. It keeps the momentum going and gathering points is what we want to do. At the moment everything is going well.

“The players are implementing what I want them to do. They style of play, the quick two touch football, pressing high, they are taking these things on board and to a man they have all been great.

“We’re making strides in the right direction and I’m really pleased.”

The Oval side took the lead on 23 minutes when Curtis Allan broke on the left to shoot goalward, but McCusker parried the ball into the path of Francis McCaffrey to stab home from close range.

Ballinamallard though levelled 10 minutes later when McCartney’s cross from the left was beautifully cushioned by Steve Feeney. The ball was played into the path of the supporting Adam Lecky to shoot home past keeper Morris.

Glentoran got off to a flier in the second half when they scored after just nine minutes. This time a great move down the left saw the ball whipped in and Jonathon Smith was on hand at the near post to touch home.

Ballinamallard responded again 10 minutes later. Referee Crangle awarded a free kick on the 18 yard line. Beacom’s effort came back off the wall but when McCartney struck the rebound the ball was adjudged to have struck a Glentoran player inside the penalty box and a spotkick was awarded.

McCartney delivered into the top corner to level for the second time.

But on 72 minutes the Glens edged in front again. This time a good move down the right flank saw the ball squarred to McCaffrey 20 yards out. A fierce low drive fizzed into the bottom corner even though keeper McCusker got a hand to it.

Glentoran sealed the points on 83 minutes when Smith crossed from the right and dangerman Curtis Allen slid in to stab the ball home.

Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson was disappointed his boys didn’t take something from the game after fighting to get back to 2-2.

He felt at that stage his players could have pushed on a won the three points.

“We’re working hard but made some poor decision on the pitch today,” he said.

“On another day we may have got something from the game, but it is happening too often. I was very disappointed with the nature of three of the goals. They came from wide areas and we aren’t defending crosses. We have no other choice but to knuckle down and keep working hard.”