Ballinamallard come to Mourneview Park for Saturday’s Danske Bank Premiership fixture as one of the form teams. The Fermanagh side’s last defeat was at home to Glenavon on a wet night at Ferney Park just over four weeks ago when Joel Cooper scored the only goal of the game. Since then Whitey Anderson’s team has knocked Linfield out of the League Cup, drawn with Champions Crusaders and earned 3-0 wins against Portadown and Warrenpoint Town.
The two sides have identical records in the last five league games, winning four, drawing one and losing one. Glenavon’s run of three wins in a row came to an end with defeat at Seaview but Gary Hamilton’s side bounced back with a 1-1 draw and an excellent performance against Cliftonville last Saturday.
Gary will be without Kevin Braniff for up to six weeks after the influential forward pulled up last week with a hamstring tear and striker Eoin Bradley is currently stranded in Sharm el-Sheikh.
The striker was due to fly back to the UK on Wednesday but his flight was cancelled in the wake of the crash of the Russian airliner. He had then been told he would be on a flight back on Thursday but he arrived at the airport only to find it had also been cancelled.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Skinner (Bradley) makes it back in time but, with Kevin also being out, it gives Daniel (Kearns) and Fabio, who did well last week, a chance to stake a claim for a place, ” Gary told us. “When I signed Eoin I agreed that, as he plays Gaelic in the Summer, he would be able to continue to take a holiday with his family in October when the kids are off for Halloween. It’s just unfortunate that world events have possibly prevented him getting back in time for this game.”
“It’ll be a really tough game tomorrow. They’re a good, well organized outfit and they defend well and now they are hitting the net regularly. Whitey has done a tremendous job since they got promoted.
“We’ll need to be on top of our game but I’m confident that our squad is much stronger this season and the players who come in are lot better quality than we’ve been able to call on in the past.
“We’ve improved our clean sheets record and if we can defend well and score the opposition have to change their game plan and it gives us a great chance of winning games.”
|Referee||Assistant 1||Assistant 2||4th Official|
|Ian McNabb||Paul Berry||Ken Ross||Damien Basketfield|
The Match Sponsor today is a group of five supporters known as “5 Go Live” consisting of Ian McCollum, Councillor Marc Woods, Councillor Colin McCusker, Cornerstone Care and Moore McCusker Tax Advice. The joint Ball Sponsors are supporters Henry Aiken & Roland Lyons and the Man of the Match Sponsors are another consortium of supporters: Paul Adamson, Clifford Dennison & Ian Perry.
As today’s sponsors show, getting together with a group of friends makes sponsoring a match, ball or Man of the Match very affordable.