Marty Verner was Bangor’s hero and it saved him from being cast as the villain at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Saturday.
Bangor manager Marty Quinn revealed that he had given his striker a half-time dressing down in the dressing room and it had the desired effect as the Seasiders ended their recent alarming run and put Ballymena United deeper in the mire.
Quinn’s men led 1-0 at the break courtesy of a 44th minute debut goal by Gary Fitzpatrick but when Liam Mullan levelled 11 minutes after the restart it looked as if if wasteful finishing by Verner and striker partner Nathan McConnell had come back to haunt them.
But up stepped Verner with nine minutes to go to add the finishing touch that Aaron McKee’s sublime work down the right warranted.
“It was a massive win for us and vital that we lifted ourselves up, dusted ourselves down and get on with it,” said Quinn.
“The goal was a lifeline for Ballymena, they played for a few minutes after it but then took their foot off the pedal.
“We made a great substitution in Aaron McKee, he has a cool head likes to pass and play the ball, and he did that, and had a masterstroke with the ball for the winning goal for Verner.
“Marty and Nathan should have scored in the first-half and I told them at half-time they owed us but with 2-1 and three points in the bag I’m delighted.
“But we can’t rest on our laurels, every game in this league is like a cup final for us and I’m starting to build that spirit in the dressing room.”
As for United, Roy Walker revealed he also had words for his players, asking them to examine their own display.
“We are in a true position, not a false one, and sadly for me I thought I was coming to build on a foundation but I find it’s not there,” he admitted.
“You tell them the truth and there’s no defence coming back.
“I think the problem is that some players have been unmasked now and that instead of trying to blame other people they should have an introspective look at their own performance and come back to me and tell me where they think they’re doing well.”