Wakehurst boss Ian Gregg believes that Saturday’s Intermediate Cup victory over Newington will have benefits for his side beyond simply reaching the next round of the competition.
Andy Laughlin scored the only goal as the Ballymena men beat their fellow Championship Two side at Mill Meadow.
“We showed the physicality and the tempo that had been missing against Derriaghy the previous week,” said Gregg.
“Saturday’s win shows the players that if we produce that level of performance, we can be a match for anybody at our level.
“The fact that we did it without Conor Gregg, on whom we depend so much for goals, is another thing that will give the players confidence.
The decisive goal came after nine minutes as Laughlin, playing in a more advanced role in the absence of Conor Gregg, converted Owen Gregg’s cross.
Wakehurst’s other hero was goalkeeper Marc Maybin, who saved a first half penalty to keep his side’s lead intact.
Wakehurst have no game this weekend after scheduled opponents Sport & Leisure will instead play their postponed Intermediate Cup match from last weekend.
That will allow Conor Gregg to receive further treatment on a knee injury, but midfielder George Young is out for the season with a cruciate ligament tear.