Harry McConkey has challenged his players to bounce back from the disappointment of conceding an injury time goal to lose to Ards. The Mallards came into the game with seven wins from their last eight league games but their pursuit of the league leaders stuttered with the concession of a 93rd minute winner for the home team.

Next up is a trip to Dundela, and although Ballinamallard lost on both visits to Wilgar Park last season, Harry McConkey has set his sights of getting back to winning ways at the first available opportunity.

“It could be a season with dips like last week but it is how we respond to those dips that is important,” said the manager.

“Every three points in this league are significant for morale as well as momentum, and that is part of what frustrated us on Saturday. We were so close to being in a position where we kept that momentum going, and now we have to get it up and going all over again.

“We must just focus on Saturday’s game and not worry about what goes on anywhere else, or worry about league titles or promotion or any of that.

“Dundela is a place that we have found great difficulty in going to in the past, and anytime I get a challenge like that I love to try and change what has happened before. In the last two games we have lost 3-2 and a 4-0 and we want to turn that around.

“We have done it this season in places like the Welders and that is the challenge I am throwing to the players. They have great pace in wide areas and predators in the middle, but if we can get on the front foot we can cause most teams problems. We need to come out of the traps early and get on the front foot and expose them as much as we can and play with real confidence.”

Ballinamallard had come back from a goal behind against Ards to hold a 2-1 lead and it looked as though they were on their way to another away victory before two late Ards strikes turned the game on its head.

The team felt aggrieved after the match with several refereeing decisions that did not go their way. Nathan Cashel appeared to be bundled over inside the penalty area early in the game, and Ards’ equaliser came after Jason McCartney felt he was pushed in the back.

On both occasions the referee waved away the Mallard’s protests, and while the manager was left frustrated with the decisions, he felt they would have taken the referee’s decisions would have been irrelevant if they had made the most of their chances.

“It was very harsh and I was very frustrated about the nature of the defeat, but if we score it wipes out any talk of refereeing decisions and I think that is where we must look at ourselves,” said Harry.

“Regardless of a referee’s error we could have taken it out of their hands and that is something we have to remember. It is a bad day when you are discussing referees. It’s a good day when you put the game to bed and the referee becomes irrelevant. We have to make sure we improve in those situations.”

On the pitch, Harry was pleased with many aspects of their play, but frustrated they could not hold onto their second half lead.

“I was pleased with the performance,” he said.

“It was great to go in at half time with the tonic of an equaliser, and I think it was the least we deserved. We went out in the second half and took control of the game and another goal would have secured the game but we never make it easy for ourselves.

“We needed to take control and make shorter passes and keep the ball longer rather than go for the jugular. Maybe we were a bit naïve in that. We found ourselves going too long too early in the hope we would get that third goal. We need to learn to be able to control the game better.”