New signings impress as Mallards advance.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

New signings impress as Mallards advance. thumbnailBallinamallard's new signing Sean Noble in action against Immaculata.

BALLINAMALLARD United moved into the next round of the Tennant's Irish Cup with a 4-2 win over Northern Amateur Football League side Immaculata at Ferney Park on Saturday afternoon.


Manager Gavin Dykes handed debuts to new signings Michael Kerr, Packie Mailey and Sean Noble, while Stephen O'Flynn returned to the club and made an impact when introduced in the second half.

"It is nice to be in the next round but I though we made awful hard work of it," said Mallards boss Gavin Dykes, who was not overly pleased with his side's performance.

"There were a lot of positives from the news lads but Immaculata caused us a lot of problems."

The Premiership side took the lead after seven minutes when Noble pounced on a loose back-pass from Colm O'Riordan to round away keeper Mark McKenna and stroke the ball home, albeit with the help of the upright.

Jonathan Leddy tested McKenna from range but the Immaculata keeper pulled off a solid stop.

Declan O'Neill picked out Adrian Oliver, but the number nine's first touch let him down and keeper Richard Brush was able to smother the shot The Belfast side got back on terms early in the second half when Brian McCaul fired in a free kick, but Ryan Curran restored the lead for the Mallards four minutes later with a volley.

An own goal by Billy McGovern in the 63rd minute, turning in a strike across goal from O'Flynn, put the game beyond Immacualta before Curran grabbed his second of the game with a strike from a rebound.

Matty Smyth and Jonny Leddy both clipped the bar and in the final minutes, but the visitors hadn't given up and they bagged their deserved second through Kevin McGovern's fine solo effort.

"We started off the game really well, but then we started to get nervous," said Dykes. "We didn't win enough ball all over the park. We lacked a wee bit of energy." And Dykes issued a warning to his squad ahead of further possible new arrivals as the club fight for survival in the Premiership.

"I said to them in there, we've an awful lot of players in here now. There'll be people sitting in the stands, that's the reality of it.

If we're going to get out of trouble I need people that go on a football pitch and do what they're supposed to do.

"Today I thought people went through the motions and made bad decisions. Positives are that the new lads came in and did pretty well. Hopefully we can build on that."

Ballinamallard are back in league action this Saturday as they host Glentoran at Ferney Park.


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