Whitey: Mallards won’t duck Carrick challenge

Ballinamallard United manager, Whitey Anderson
Ballinamallard United manager, Whitey Anderson

Ballinamallard United boss Whitey Anderson is preparing his side for the biggest game of their four-year Danske Bank Premiership history this weekend.

The Fermanagh men face a winner-takes-all clash at relegation rivals Carrick Rangers on the final day of the season, where the victors will avoid automatic relegation.

The Mallards’ remain third-bottom going into that last day showdown after Stephen O’Flynn’s nerveless stoppage-time penalty at the Showgrounds.

Earlier, Emmet Friars’ stooping header had cancelled out Tony Kane’s free-kick opener for Ballymena.

Until that point, scores elsewhere meant that Ballinamallard had dropped to the foot of the table before those two goals set up a monumental showdown at Carrick.

“This has to be our biggest game - we either stay in the Premier League or we don’t,” said Anderson.

“The club has fought hard to get here and I know that group of players we have will fight hard to keep us here. If they give 100 per cent commitment like they did today, I’m confident we will get a result.

“The reality is, we don’t have the points on the board. We have the best defensive record in the bottom six but we’ve also scored less goals than any team in the league and that is what has killed us,” added Anderson.

“We have one game to go to get out of it, it’s in our own hands. All we can do is try to get a result at Carrick and that is what our aim will be.

“This has to be the biggest game - we either stay in the Premier League or we don’t.

The club has fought hard to get here and I know that group of players we have will fight hard to keep us here.

“If they give 100 per cent commitment like they did against Ballymena, I’m confident we wil get a result.”

n Carrick have received confirmation from the Irish FA that it has been successful in obtaining a Premiership licence for the 2016/17 season.

Meanwhile, the Taylor’s Avenue club have slashed admission prices for Saturday’s showdown with the Mallards to £5. On Saturday evening the Spirit of ‘76 Supporters’ Club is hosting a pub quiz in the dugout (7:30pm). The cost is £3 per person with a maximum of five in a team.