Institute manager Brian Donaghey pleased defender Matthew Walker scores on debut
Institute manager Brian Donaghey praised Matthew Walker after the defender marked his debut with a goal against Ballinamallard United in Saturday’s 1-1 draw.
The left-back, who had a tough afternoon at times trying to deal with United striker BJ Banda, showed great composure before firing home just before the hour mark to give ’Stute the lead.
Donaghey was pleased that the former Derry City youngster didn’t let a first half caution put him off his game as he grew into a match the ‘Stute boss admits he side should have won.
“Matty was very good but at one stage you probably would have had a case of relieving him of his duties in case he got sent-off and left us with 10 men, but he came back and did very well,” admitted Donaghey.
“His strike was excellent for the goal. He got forward well and remember, he’s come in and only had one training session so we know he’s going to improve. We know what he can bring and I thought he was excellent in the second half.
“He’s another 6ft plus lad. Now we have got a bit of height in our team and we look a big, physical unit.
“We’re going to be a threat at set-pieces and we’re going to be ready for both boxes and if we can give our keeper that wee bit more protection, that’s great.”
Unfortunately for the Drumahoe club they again failed to keep a clean-sheet as Mark Stafford’s strike earned Ballinamallard a share of the spoils much to Donaghey’s disappointment.
“If we keep a clean-sheet then we win our last three games, it’s simple maths,” he explained. “But listen, I’m proud of the boys. They are putting themselves out there and all want to play and that’s always a good sign.
“I’m leaving good players out every week. I have Cormac Burke and Jack Coyle to come back into the squad next week so when we have our strongest team out on the pitch, then we’ll be okay.
“We have a really good squad, we have 16/18 senior players and it has taken a long time to get that squad together.
“Over the last three weeks we have dropped a lot of points and I’m obviously disappointed about that, but I really can’t fault the guys for their effort or endeavour. The way they are trying to play is first class and I think results will come, hopefully sooner rather than later.”
The ’Stute manager admitted, just like their draw at Newington on Tuesday evening, it was another two points dropped against Harry McConkey’s side on Saturday at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, though Donaghey was not to disheartened.
“A bit like Tuesday night, I think it’s another two points dropped. However, I’m very, very pleased by the performances since the start of the season to be honest, I can’t really fault them.
“We’re trying to play the right way and I thought we were excellent on Saturday at times to be honest,” he added.
“We lost our way for a 10 minute spell from the 25th to 35th minute when they came into the game, but they’re a good side with good players so you have to expect them to have a period.
“I have said to my players that we have to turn these draws into wins and when we do that, and we get a bit of momentum, then I don’t think we’ll be far away. I really do think that we’ll surprise quite a few people.
“I don’t think anybody has outplayed us in the four games and with a bit more care in the last third then we win those games. Gareth (Muldoon) had one save to make on Saturday and they had a couple of half chances, but that’s about it.”