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Ballinamallard are in the mood for festive take-off


Shane McCabe leaps over the challenge from Ballinamallard's Jason McCartney

Shane McCabe leaps over the challenge from Ballinamallard's Jason McCartney

Shane McCabe leaps over the challenge from Ballinamallard's Jason McCartney

Ryan Campbell's 55th minute goal sealed the points for Ballinamallard United side against a struggling Glenavon at Ferney Park on Saturday.

Whitey Anderson's side went into the game on the back of three successive defeats, including Tuesday night's loss to Ballymena United in the League Cup semi-final, but the boss felt that this win will provide them with a confidence boost ahead of the trip to face Dungannon Swifts on Boxing Day.

"This was a massive result," said Anderson. "We will train Tuesday night then everybody can enjoy their Christmas dinner but then it's big game against Dungannon at Stangmore Park.

"It's an opportunity for us to extend our lead over them and it is an opportunity for them to close the gap which I'm sure is the way that Darren Murphy is looking at it.

"They can close it to three and we can extend it to nine and that's what we'll be looking at, we'll be trying to look up the table.

"It will be a tough game, every game in this league is tough, but this win should give the boys real confidence."

For Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton, though, a lack of confidence is an issue.

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His side have now gone six games without a win, with that run including five defeats, although he thought there were signs of improvement on Saturday with his team carving out a number of good scoring chances throughout what proved a frustrating contest for them.

"At this minute in time it's difficult, there's no point in pretending or saying any different," he admitted. "That's the one thing about players, when they are lacking confidence, they make wrong decisions and when they are through on goal they are maybe not as clinical as they usually are, but that's a human reaction and all we can do is keep working and hopefully our luck will turn very soon.

"In terms of getting chances and creating chances, there were a lot of positives whereas, if the truth be told, against Institute, Dungannon and Coleraine there wasn't even that positive because we weren't creating chances."

It gets no easier for the Lurgan Blues with a derby clash with Portadown next up but Hamilton feels the side's poor run means that there will be little pressure or expectation on his side.

"You like to be going into these games in better form than we are at the minute because the form hasn't been good.

"But maybe the pressure will be off our boys because of the run we are on and it will be expected that Portadown will win the game," he added.