Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher had mixed emotions about his side’s win over Derry at Brewster Park on Saturday night.
Gallagher’s team were in devastating form in the first half, hitting 1-12 as they went in at the break with a nine point advantage. But a couple of poor goals gave Derry hope in the second half and in the end only two points separated the sides as Fermanagh held on to make it four wins out of four.
“We won the game and we will take an awful lot of pluses, we were very happy with how we played for the first 35 minutes.
“To score 1-12 in the first half and be very dominant, I thought we were excellent and we kicked some good scores. I thought we had threats from all over the pitch and I was very pleased with that,” said Gallagher.
However, he was less satisfied with how the second half panned out.
“There was no way in the world that you should end up only winning a game by two points that you have completely dominated. I think all three goals were sloppy and naive and it is an area that I would be very disappointed with. 
“That’s one of the reasons that we are in Division Three, we don’t have that game know how to squeeze things out and make things easy, albeit two of the goals were poor mistakes and sometimes you can’t do anything about that from a set up point of view,” he stated.
He also felt that his side need to show a more ruthless side when they get into goal scoring positions with two opportunities passed up in the second half, Paul McCusker opting to take a point when well placed and Ruairi Corrigan denied by Derry goalkeeper Ben McKinless.
“Paul McCusker went through at one stage and we probably should have went for goal, Ruairi missed a goal chance and if either of those go in, and if the two goals aren’t conceded, we end up winning the game by eight or ten points. 
“From our point of view that is disappointing and something that we are going to have to learn very quickly because you are not going to get many chances to come out on the right side of it if you don’t,” he stated.
As in the previous three league games, this was another in which Fermanagh have controlled matters for the vast majority of the contest and that aspect of the game is something that pleases Gallagher.
“While we haven’t won the games by the scoring difference that we probably deserved to, we have been very dominant in all the games. We took control of all the games and it’s not as if we have been out of the games at any stage and that is the pleasing thing. You look to control as much as you can but the thing is now we have to make sure that we don’t do anything silly at the back and finish everything up front,” he added.
And the games are set to get tougher between now and the end of the campaign for Fermanagh with Gallagher’s charges set to meet the other the promotion hopefuls in their last three games, the league programme concluding with ties against Westmeath, Armagh and Longford.
“The quality of opposition in the last three games, no disrespect to the four teams we have played, but they will be of better quality. They are teams with a genuine interest in getting promoted to Division Two. I think everybody knows how good Armagh are, Westmeath have been in a couple of Leinster finals and Longford are going well, I was at their game against Armagh and they should probably have won it,” commented the Fermanagh manager.
First up is a trip to Mullingar this Sunday as Fermanagh look to maintain their 100 percent league record although with Westmeath also in the shake up at the top end of the table, Gallagher is expecting a big test.
“Westmeath are very good up front and over this last number of years they have had no problem putting up scores so that is something that we will have to be aware of. 
“The likes of Heslin, Martin and Egan are all very good players but we would feel that if we can play like we did in the first half against Derry then we will give ourselves a good chance,” he concluded.