Belfast Telegraph

Stute boss draws comfort as United lack killer touch

Institute 1 Ballymena United 1

Race on: Ballymena United ace Jude Winchester tries to escape Shane McNamee
Race on: Ballymena United ace Jude Winchester tries to escape Shane McNamee
Jonny Addis celebrates his goal

By Colin Speer

Institute manager Sean Connor felt his side deserved a share of the spoils against Ballymena United.

Connor watched his side make it two games undefeated and feels, while his side had chances on the counter-attack in the second half, a point apiece was a fair result.

"I think in the big picture it's a point gained," he stated.

"Certainly it was good to get in front and leading at half-time, but I'm disappointed that we have conceded from a set-piece, but I think overall a draw was a fair result.

"They were very good and they had the ball a lot and moved it very well and because of that they probably deserved a point."

Having been in the job for only a few weeks, Connor is confident the Drumahoe club have enough to move away from the relegation zone and he concedes travelling from Killybegs to Londonderry four times a week is worth it.

"I think what I have seen over the last three weeks, if we can continue with the level of application, attitude and desire, I think we can only get better and, yes, I do think we are good enough," he added.

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"Even towards the end today we threatened and I'm not saying we deserved to win the game, but we showed that we can hurt teams when we have the ball.

"All the travelling is worth it whenever you have good performances like that and when you get the players buying into what you are doing. It's fantastic being back on the sideline, so it's very much worth it."

United boss David Jeffrey was left frustrated that his players didn't take their chances.

"You have got to give credit to Institute, they worked extremely hard, they were well organised and got behind the ball and made things difficult for us," he confirmed.

"However, I have told my players that the analysis is simple: if you hadn't created chances then you are wondering why, but when you create that number of chances, you have to take them. If you don't take them, then you don't win games of football."

INSTITUTE: Brown, Crown, Bonner, Tourish, D Curry, McNamee (Burke, 54), Grace, McCauley (B McLaughlin, 90), Brown (C McLaughlin, 79), McGurk, McCready.

Ballymena UTD: Ross Glendinning, Balmer, Ervin, Addis, McGrory, Winchester (McGinty, 80), Millar, Kelly, McCullough, Mayse (Kane, 87), Carville.

Match rating: 6/10

Man of match: Jonny Addis

Referee: Shane Andrews (Comber).

• Linfield's Mark Stafford has been named September's NIFWA Player of the Month.

The centre-back helped the Blues to six wins in an undefeated September, defeating Cliftonville, East Belfast, Glentoran, Ballinamallard United, Carrick Rangers and Glenavon.

The Blues kept four clean sheets in the league, while Stafford weighed in with a goal against Carrick.

"This is the first time I've won the award," said Stafford, "I was shocked when I got the call."

"I'm very thankful to the Football Writers' for picking me because I've played in this league for a long time, and it's nice to be recognised in this way.

"This award could have gone to any of our back four."

Crusaders star Paul Heatley was runner-up, while Coleraine midfielder Ben Doherty was third.

Belfast Telegraph


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