Mallards on the up: Feeney

Ballinamallard's Cahal Beacom celebrates scoring against Glentoran at The Oval.
Ballinamallard's Cahal Beacom celebrates scoring against Glentoran at The Oval.

Skipper Steven Feeney insists the only way is up for his battling Ballinamallard United side.

Whitey Anderson’s boys not only picked up a vital three Danke Premiership points but chalked an historic first ever win against against an ailing Glentoran team at the Oval on Saturday.

Young striker Johnny Courtney shot the Mallards in front late in the first half, before Cahil Beacom fired in a 20 yard free kick 10 minutes after the break to seal the deal.

As United took the applause from their small pocket of fans at the finish, Eddie Paterson’s side were booed all the way to the dressing room.

“We needed a win badly,” said Feeney. “Our performances over the past few weeks haven’t been bad, but we were not picking up points. It was good to change that.

“I thought we were solid throughout, from our goalkeeper Alvin (Rouse), right through the back four. Our boys in midfield worked tirelessly.

“We spoke before the game about not letting ourselves being out-worked by teams and we certainly didn’t let that happen. We probably got a little bit of luck with the second goal, but when you work that hard, you earn that bit of fortune.

“We hadn’t beaten Glentoran since we came into the league. It’s good to get that monkey off our back, but we can take great confidence from this result. It’s now about looking forward and building on this victory.

“There is no point coming to the Oval and taking three points and not backing it up over the next few games. We now face Glenavon in midweek, which is another tough one.”

Feeney insists the victory can kick-start his team’s season.

“We didn’t set any targets at the outset, but we don’t want to be involved in a relegation scrap,” he added. Unfortunately, we’ve put ourselves in that position at present, but there is a long way to go and a lot of points to be played for.

“There will be a lot of twists and turns. All we can do is focus on ourselves and pick up as many points as we can. The more we pick up, the targets will become that little bit higher in terms of our league position.”

United boss Whitey Anderson, who has re-signed midfielder John Currie, was beaming from ear to ear afterwards.

“I’m absolutely thrilled for the boys,” he said. “It was our first win in 11 meetings with Glentoran, so we have be happy.

“To beat them at the Oval and to keep a clean sheet was magnificent. I don’t think anyone could deny us the points over the 90 minutes. We have been playing well over the past few weeks and not getting the rewards.

“But I thought it all came together for us against the Glens.

“The team were well organised, you could have seen the pure desire in their performance. I can’t praise them enough.

“And, a big plus is the fact that we have resigned John Currie and he’ll be added to the squad.. He went to University in Germany, but it didn’t work our for him over there.

“I’m confident this group can have a decent season.”

Glentoran boss Eddie Patterson insisted the supporters had every right to vent their anger. He said: “I can understand the fans’ frustrations, but if I’m given the time, I’ve no doubt the team can climb the table once we get a full squad available again.

“I’m not into making excuses . . . the performance wasn’t acceptable. We conceded two power-puff goals which knocked the stuffing out of us, especially the second one.

“But we had three of our back four out injured -- Barry Holland, Calum Birney and Jay Magee. We’ve were also missing Jim O’Hanlon and Kym Nelson. We’ve Cairan Caldwell still suspended for something he was found guilty of with is former club.

“We were so badly off for players we had to name Niall Henderson as one of our substitutes -- there was no way he was going anywhere near the pitch.”