Misfiring Bannsiders are downed by the Mallards

Jamie McGonigle's equaliser beats Ballinamallard keeper Stefan McCusker. photo:Derek Simpson
Jamie McGonigle's equaliser beats Ballinamallard keeper Stefan McCusker. photo:Derek Simpson

Coleraine’s achilles heel came to haunt them again on Saturday as they went down 2-1 at home to Ballinamallard United.

All season long boss Oran Kearney has bemoaned his side failing to take their chances when they are on top.

Saturday was another example of that as chances came and went against the Mallards.

One bright spot though was the spectacular goal by teenage striker Jamie McGonigle three minutes before half time.

The young front man has been banging the goals in for fun for the Reserves all season.

On Saturday he showed his goal scoring instinct as he acrobatically hooked home Matthew Snoddy’s cross.

Unfortunately within a minute the visitors had gone up the pitch and restored their one-goal lead as Ryan Campbell took advantage of a defensive mix up to grab his and his side’s second of the day.

“It’s disappointing for us, but the big positive we’ll take is our second half showing,” Oran Kearney told Times Sport after the game.

“We’ve created enough chances like we have in the past against Ballinamallard to go and get something out of the game, but it was another one of those days.

“Our big issue all season has been putting the ball in the back of the net, and it has turned out to be the same today.

“There’s no issude with our work ethic or with the attitude of the players.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more especially in the second half when we really kicked on and created numerous chances.

“But at the end of the day goals win games and sadly that leaves us with another defeat.”

Despite losing the game Kearney was delighted with the performances of his young players including debutant Cameron Stewart at centre half.

“Ballinamallard had everything to play for today, it was a massive game for them,” said the Bannsiders boss.

“So for the young lads who came in and played today they have played in as real an Irish League game as you can get.

“There comes a point in this little transition when you’re using some of the younger lads but you still ultimately want to win the game.

“Even though the season is coming to a close we still want to score goals and win games.

“We want those guys to kick on and also for us to pick up points.

“Jamie will certainly remember that one, it was a great strike.

“He has banged in a lot of goals for the reserves this year, and I’m delighted for him to have got off the mark today in spectacular fashion.”

For Ballinamallard boss Whitey Anderson the result carried extra significance as it secured his side’s place in the Premiership for another season.

“I think happy and relieved are the words which sum it all up for us at this very moment,” nhe said after the game.

“It was hectic out there today. We were keeping an eye on the other results, but we knew it was really up to ourselves.

“We told the boys to go out and win the game, and we did that, albeit maybe winning it ugly.

“It was a very poor game of football, but we got the three points and that’s all that matters.”