Ballinamallard manager Harry McConkey was left to rue missed opportunities as they lost out to a late goal against Newry City on Saturday. 
The 88th minute winner was the decisive moment in the game, but the boss felt his team paid the price for not capitalising when they were on top. 
“Sadly we didn’t get that ball over the line again at the key time,” he reflected. 
“The thing that hurt the most was that part of the game late on when you realise you haven’t taken your opportunities and you could be ahead. 
"They had looked very dangerous on the counter and we knew we had to make sure we weren’t caught out, while being more clinical up at their end. When opportunities present themselves we must grab them, and it has taken us longer to grab that than I thought this season, but it’s too early to push panic buttons. 
"Clearly we are a work in progress and you have to keep level headed in all of this. 
"We are fourth in the table and you can compare where we were this time last year, but we also have to be aware that we are still not very away from the bottom two, and yet not far from the top either. We have to stay calm.”
After a solid start against Newry that saw them reach the half time interval goalless, Ballinamallard started to pose more of a threat in the second half, but Harry thought too many of the payers were not at the top of their game.
“We had a game plan that we would make them play long and not allow them to play through us,” he explained. 
“They were over hitting passes and being caught offside and that was pleasing, but the second part was getting to the areas where we could hurt them when we were on the ball. 
"We have been so impressive in starting our matches away from home. We have come quickly out of the starting blocks against Portadown and at Welders and even at Dergview. We can come out with a tempo to our play, and that disappointed me a little bit on Saturday. 
"Sadly I thought on the day there were too many players who were technically off the boil. All those things were not at the level we are capable of and that then cost us. 
"We didn’t have enough threat on their goal because of the build up play and the quality of the final ball. 
"It pleased me in the second half we improved that and stretched them a bit more, with Callum Moorehead and Simon Warrington coming on we started to get joy. At that point Jay hit the post and we were putting pressure on. 
"We got momentum and at one point I was very pleased with how we had managed the game. I didn’t see the lapse at the end coming.”
The manager was especially disappointed at the ease with which City broke through. 
“The nature of the goal we conceded was dreadful,” he conceded. 
“It was schoolboy defending. It’s one long ball that we have talked about before, and we know we cannot be so vulnerable to it. It was a misjudgement. We have an honest bunch of players and they were very down after the game. Certain individuals were holding their hands up and being accountable and that is as much as I can ask.”
If Ballinamallard are to get back to winning ways in the league they will have to get the better of leaders Loughgall. 
The Mallards travel to County Armagh to take on the league’s top scorers having secured a midweek cup win over Newbuildings. 
“It was a good night’s work and it has helped the squad for Saturday,” said Harry. 
“Loughgall are absolutely flying but after how we lost the game on Saturday it was nice to get that wee tonic of a home win,” he commented.
Ballinamallard will welcome back captain Richard Clarke to the squad having managed 25 minutes in midweek, but Dwayne McManus is likely to be absent for a couple of weeks having picked up a hamstring injury.