Belfast Telegraph

Now Ballinamallard can take off: Johnny Courtney

Glentoran 0 - Ballinamallard 2

By David Mason

Ballinamallard United striker Johnny Courtney insists his team's victory at The Oval on Saturday can ignite their season.

The 20-year-old played a huge part in the Mallard's historic first league triumph over a Glentoran side booed off at the finish.

Courtney, making his first appearance of the campaign, shot Whitey Anderson's team in front late in the first-half before Cathal Beacom guaranteed three crucial points by ramming home a free-kick 10 minutes after the break.

"That was our best performance of the season," said Courtney. "Although we hadn't been playing badly of late, results have not been going our way. So it's good to come to a place like Glentoran and take three points.

"I suppose we were written off by most people, but it shows what this team is all about.

"We played well against Cliftonville last weekend, but had nothing to show for it. This week we got our just rewards.

"We know we must take points off the teams around us, but to get all three at The Oval is a massive confidence boost."

United boss Anderson, who this week re-signed midfielder John Currie, was thrilled.

"The team were well organised and you could see the desire. I can't praise them enough," he said.

Glentoran chief Eddie Patterson admitted his team suffered once again because of the lengthy queue for the treatment room. "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," he said.

"But we had three of our back four out injured - Barry Holland, Calum Birney and Jay Magee. We were also missing Jim O'Hanlon and Kym Nelson. We've Ciaran Caldwell still suspended for something he was found guilty of with his former club, which is a nonsense to me.

"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."

Jordan Stewart could make a sensational return to Glentoran after it emerged the winger's Swindon Town adventure has been badly disrupted by homesickness.

Town may have to sell the Northern Ireland Under-21 ace after Stewart has struggled to settle in England.

GLENTORAN: Hogg, Garrett, Kane, Scullion (McCaffrey, 77 mins), Allen, McAlorum, Gibson (Gray, 57 mins), Addis, Gordon, McMenamin, Smith. Unused subs: McCullough, Morris, Henderson.

BALLINAMALLARD: Rouse, McMenamin, McLoughlin, Feeney, Martin, McCartney, Lecky (Smith, 90 mins), Beacom, Courtney (Campbell, 89 mins), McCrudden (Klobusek, 90 mins), Friars. Unused subs: Phair, Carters.

Man of the match: Cathal Beacom

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Stephen Taylor (Belfast).

Belfast Telegraph


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