Enniskillen Town 3

Beragh Swifts 1

Beragh Swifts slipped to the bottom of the Division One table after goals from Stephen Clarke, Frank Wallace and Mark Little earned Enniskillen Town all three points at the Lakeland Forum on Saturday.

Town took an early lead, and although they were pegged back, a goal just before the break restored their advantage, and a second half strike ensured they came out on top in a closely contested match.

“We had to work really hard for it,” admitted Town manager Rory Judge. “They should have maybe been a goal up in the first quarter. They were the busier team and they put us under a lot of pressure, and we scored against the run of play. From that point on though you would only have picked one winner, and that was us, although they still gave us moments of concern.”

Town’s victory was a return to winning ways after derby defeat the previous week to Enniskillen Rangers when a promising performance ultimately yielded nothing.

Manager Judge was hoping his team would continue to build on the positive signs they showed in the derby match, and after claiming the points he reckoned they had shown their battling qualities.

“It’s good to get the performances but the result matters more,” he admitted. “We thought we had a good performance the week before and got nothing out of it. It was a different type of game this week. We had to battle for it. There was probably less football played but we were able to get down and dirty, and it was good to show another side to our game and get that reaction. We are still playing catch up and there is a long way to go, but we are taking it game by game.”

Beragh made the brighter start and came within inches of taking an early lead when Stephen Browne crashed a shot off the crossbar. It was a warning for Town, and they responded by taking the game to their opponents. They were rewarded when Stephen Clarke burst through and fired past the keeper to open the scoring.

Town continued to threaten the Swifts’ goal, and felt they should have been awarded a penalty for handball, but the referee waved away their appeals. Beragh took full advantage of the let-off with a spectacular Browne volley finding the far corner of the net to level the scores, but Frank Wallace was proving difficult for the Swifts’ defence to contain.

His first effort on goal came back off the upright, and minutes later he found himself clear on goal with just the goalkeeper to beat, but his effort was blocked. Just before the interval Wallace got his reward when Quigley picked up possession and set up the striker for a simple finish.

Having retaken the lead, Town came out for the second half with confidence restored but Beragh were still threatening on the break, with Gary Doherty twice called upon to save well and preserve their lead.

The game was put beyond Swifts’ reach midway through the half when Mark Little finished off a move to net his side’s third.

Quigley had an opportunity to score a fourth but having ridden two challenges to advance on the keeper, he was unable to find the net.

In the closing minutes of the match Town substitute Hoy was dismissed when he reacted to a challenge, but the home team still had an opportunity to score again. Quigley again carved out a chance, but his shot came back off the post.