IRISH LEAGUE: Gormley watches on as the Ballymena hit the goal trail

Former Cliftonville striker Joe Gormley was an interested spectator on Saturday as Ballymena United saw off Ballinamallard United 4-0 at the Showgrounds.

Monday, 31st October 2016, 7:08 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:56 pm
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Ballymena United Johnny McMurray celebrates scoring against Ballinamallard United during Saturday's Danske Bank Premiership match at The Showgrounds. Picture by Brian Little/Press Eye

Rumours are rife that Gormley could be looking to return to the Danske Bank Premiership after a spell across the water at Peterborough United and St Johnstone.

Gormley is currently with the Scottish side and he must have been impressed by the Ballymena duo of Johnny McMurray and Cathair Friel as they scored three of United’s goals against Ballinamallard.

McMurray grabbed two on Saturday to take his season’s tally to eight, while Friel hit one to take his record this season to 11 goals from 17 matches.

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Jeffrey - who would not answer questions on Gormley - was impressed with his side’s showing.

“We want to build a culture here where United don’t get themselves up for the so called big and glamorous games and then for the less glamorous games they don’t turn-up,” he said.

“After our great run, we then played Glenavon and I didn’t think it was a 5-0 defeat.

“Come Tuesday night against Ards it wasn’t because they had a bad attitude or a poor attitude. They just didn’t have a wise attitude and they thought they did not have to work as hard or do the basics as well as they had been doing.

“Ards were worthy winners and we looked pretty average on the night and I said to the players ‘all the glamorous games against Crusaders etc, they are straight forward because you can get up for those as a player.

“But these games are where the best players show their mark because these are games that you decide your own future.

“The attitude today was good and we changed the team and the lads who came in did really well.

“The first half was hard because they worked very hard. Big Lecky and Lafferty up-front for them did well and McCabe in the midfield was very good.

“But the difference was we did our basics well and Ross Glendinning made a great save and Johnny Flynn made a great block on the line.

“If we do the basics well we will score goals,” he added.

United took the lead through a header from McMurray in the first half and then two goals in a minute from Denver Gage and McMurray put United into a 3-0 lead before Friel then added the icing on the cake with a fourth.

It was a fine display from United but Ballinamallard can feel a little hard done by as they played some good stuff throughout the 90 minutes but just lacked a cutting edge up-front.

But manager Gavin Dykes was not downbeat after the defeat.

“I thought we were the better side in the first half and I thought we played very well but football is all about taking your chances and we didn’t take them in the first half and then gave away a poor goal.

“Second half we never started and then you are 3-0 down and the game is over.

“Those two goals just killed it and at this level when you make mistakes you get punished. But I see lots of positives. I look at the kids and what is coming through.

“If we can keep playing the way we were in the first half, we will be fine,” he added.