IRISH LEAGUE: Shared spoils and shared sentiments for Warrenpoint and Ballinamallard managers
It was a case of shared spoils on the pitch and shared sentiments off it on Saturday evening at Ferney Park.
Darren Murray grabbed an equaliser for Warrenpoint Town to cancel out Shane McGinty’s early boost for Ballinamallard United.
The home side finished with 10 men due to Richard Clarke’s red card - a decision met with agreement by both managers.
“Clarke’s made a mistake, he’s apologised for that, he shouldn’t have gone to ground so I have no argument about the sending off, it’s two tackles,” said Ballinamallard United manager Gavin Dykes. “It wasn’t malicious but it’s two yellow cards and that swings momentum their way.”
Warrenpoint manager Matthew Tipton agreed with the decision but felt frustrated at the failure of his players to take full advantage.
“The sending off was two yellows in quick succession, numerous fouls had gone on, it had turned into quite a scrappy game and, unfortunately for Richard, he has made two lunging tackles,” said Tipton. “It was a shame for the lad because he’s a good footballer and causing us problems.
“I don’t think we exploited the situation enough, we didn’t move the ball quick enough to capitalise on the extra man.
“They were organised but I thought we could have created more opportunities.
“I thought we deserved to win, we had the majority of the play and we just didn’t capitalise.
“The chances we had in the first half we didn’t put away and came out of the blocks slowly in the second half, the complete opposite of what I had asked of the team.
“But fair play to the boys, we continued to press and create and, thankfully, Darren got us the equaliser.”
Now Dykes is turning his focus to future tests - and transfers.
“We are a point closer to Carrick than we were before we started and Warrenpoint haven’t got away from us,” said Dykes following the final whistle in the final fixture of the Danske Bank Premiership weekend. “We have a big couple of weeks coming up.
“I questioned people’s attitude last week, in fairness to them they showed me a bit of bottle tonight, we’ll take it and move on.
“Players are coming back into a wee bit of form, Shane McGinty was excellent, Ryan McConnell was excellent and Ben McCann has been waiting on the sidelines.
“He’s a kid but I thought he was great, really, really good.”
“I thought we started the second half very well for a change, got a goal and probably could have had another one.
“I thought we’d see it out but we got done from a set play, which we had spoken about.
“Tonight though we showed a wee bit of bottle, we dug in for the last 10 to 15 minutes when under pressure and I think it might be a big point come the end of the season.
“We looked solid at the back.
I’m disappointed because the sending off changed the game but when you finish with 10 men, you’re under a bit of pressure, we’ll take the point.
“I’m bringing people in over January and I’m pleased how that’s going as well.”