Mallards' belief is on the increase, says Anderson
Ballinamallard 1- Dungannon 1
Gary Liggett's injury-time header earned Dungannon Swifts a share of the points in an entertaining Boxing Day tussle against Ballinamallard at Ferney Park.
The hosts looked to be on their way to all three points after James McKenna slotted home a nice individual goal 10 minutes after half-time but they were to be denied right at the death by Liggett's smartly directed header.
Although boss Whitey Anderson was disappointed not to hang on for the win, he felt that he got the right response from his players after the poor showing in the loss to Carrick Rangers a week earlier.
"Going into the game we wanted a response from last week and we got that," he said.
"From the first minute to the 90th minute, every player was committed.
"We went 1-0 up and we should really have come away with the three points but we failed to pick up at a corner and they have equalised from it.
"I feel sorry for the players because they gave it everything they had and they were two minutes away from getting a very valuable three points."
Next up for Ballinamallard are back-to-back trips to Coleraine on Premiership and Irish Cup duty - and Anderson expects both to be difficult games.
"We have two big games now against Coleraine, one in the league and one in the cup, so the next two weeks are very important. We know it is going to be tough up there but certainly we should be buoyed by this performance," he commented.
And the Mallards manager is hoping to strengthen his squad when the transfer window opens.
"I would love to get one or two players in but whether we get them or not is another thing," he explained.
"Certainly we are looking at a few options and we'll see what we can do."
Dungannon counterpart Rodney McAree differed from Anderson in his opinion of the game, believing that his side merited at least a point on the back of the second-half performance although he accepts that they did not threaten the Mallards goal enough.
"I thought on our second-half performance we deserved at least a point," he said.
"It was a really competitive game but we didn't create enough. Our delivery into the box from wide areas was poor and we'll have to look at that and try and rectify it."
He was, though, happy to be on the right end of a late goal for a change.
"It has happened to us a few times this season where we have been on the end of a late goal but that's two weeks in a row now that we have scored a goal in stoppage time," added McAree.
The Swifts have been in good form in recent weeks and they will be hoping to continue that at home to Glentoran on New Year's Day.
"It is going to be a tough game. Alan (Kernaghan) has them well organised and they play a good brand of football so it should be a good spectacle if we turn up and deliver in terms of what I believe we can," said McAree.
BALLINAMALLARD: Rouse, McLaughlin, Feeney (Lafferty, 84 mins), McCabe, McKenna, McCartney (Martin, 80 mins), Currie (Lecky, 88 mins), Crilly, Campbell, Friars, Elliott.
Dungannon: Coleman, Montgomery, Burns, Armstrong, McCaffrey, Wilson, Glackin (Teggart, 77 mins), Hazley (Liggett, 66 mins), Burke (Mullan, 85 mins), Mitchell, McElroy.
Man of match: Shane McCabe
Match Rating: 7/10
Referee: Lee Tavinder (Dungannon)