There was a mixture of relief and delight for Ballinamallard boss Harry McConkey on Saturday as his side finally made a returning to winning ways in the league with a 2-0 victory over HW Welders at Ferney Park.

A hard working and disciplined display saw the Mallards get their rewards late on as goals from Ryan Campbell and Ryan O’Reilly secured a first win since the first day of the season.

“There is no doubt that the over-riding feeling is relief,” said McConkey.

“We’re delighted, it is so important that we have stopped the rot and that we have given the supporters, committee, players and management a bit of hope that we can get ourselves up out of this mess.”

The Mallards came into the game on the back of a heavy defeat to Portadown a week earlier but McConkey felt that scoreline was harsh on his side and he was pleased with the response he had got from them at half time that day when they went in trailing 4-0. They key was to continue that reaction on Saturday.

“I asked for a reaction at half time last week when we were 4-0 down at Portadown and they battled in the second half that day and I wanted them to continue that on Saturday.

“We wanted them to give it absolutely everything and I think they did that and that is what I’m proudest of.

“When things aren’t going for you and you are not getting the run of the ball, it is about how you react to that. We have had a pummelling for so long that you could easily justify them being out on their feet but they are an honest bunch and that shone through in the performance,” he added.

The Ducks manager set his side up to stay in the game in the first half against Welders but felt that the longer the game went on then their greater energy would be crucial.

“My gameplan was to stay in the game. We sat in the middle third and conceded them ground at the back and asked them to try and break us down. We then picked up ball and it was about what we did with it afterwards. We didn’t do that well with it at time but I thought we could hurt them if we retained the ball better.

“At half time I said that we needed to make sure that we stayed in the game because they would tire, I felt we had better legs than them and when a player gets tired their worst nightmare is somebody like Darragh McBrien stretching them. We got the goals in the last 15 minutes, and as I say, I delighted to get the three points.”

More of the same though is going to be required this Saturday when the Mallards face an away game against Carrick Rangers.

“We go to Carrick next and that is a really difficult ground to go to. It is a tight compact pitch and the very qualities we showed against Welders we have to show them again. It is going to be a huge battle, “ said McConkey.

The manager though is hoping to have a strong squad for the game.

“Taheny is out through work but other than that we should have a clean bill of health,” he added.

I've been pleading for the boys to get a bit of luck and I think we got that but that should not take away from the type of battling performance that they give.

We need to keep a steady head and my job is to make sure that we keep putting good qualities into these boys.