Mallards make it four in a row
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Jason McCartney celebrates after putting Ballinamallard 2-0 up against Glenavon.<<
Ballinamallard Utd 2; Glenavon 1
Ballinamallard Utd 2
Ballinamallard made it four wins in a row in the Danske Bank Premiership with a 2-1 win over Glenavon at Ferney Park tonight.
Ryan Campbell had given Ballinamallard the lead in the opening minute and Jason McCartney doubled the advantage in the 66th minute but late drama saw Glenavon pull a goal back from the penalty spot through Kyle Neill after Leon Carters was dismissed for a deliberate handball in the 89th minute. And Glenavon went close to snatching a share of the spoils but Guy Bates' shot clipped the post as the Mallards clung on.
Whitey Anderson's Ballinamallard outfit got off to the perfect start to the game as they took the lead after only 47 seconds. Andy Crawford sent strike partner Ryan Campbell racing through on goal and he made no mistake in driving his shot into the corner of the net beyond Glenavon goalkeeper Andy Coleman.
Glenavon put this early set back behind them though and enjoyed plenty of possession after this with Gary Hamilton and Bates looking threatening in attack.
However, Ballinamallard did have a chance to increase their lead as Crawford glanced a header from a Davy Kee free kick which was saved by Coleman.
The Lurgan outfit had a great opportunity to level up the encounter but Conor Hagan headed wide while Glenavon did have the ball in the net in added on time at the end of the half but Marc Brown's effort was ruled out for a foul on Mallards goalkeeper Alvin Rouse as the home side went in a goal to the good at the break.
Hamilton saw an effort cleared off the line by Danny Keohane at the start of the second half while Campbell, who was lively throughout, forced Coleman into a smart stop in the 58th minute.
A second Mallards goal did arrive though in the 66th minute as McCartney surged into the box and the winger rounded Coleman before tucking the ball home from close range.
It appeared the game was going to peter out after this, but there was to be a late twist as Carters clearly handled in the box leaving referee Mark Courtney no choice but to show him a red card. And Neill slotted home the resulting spot kick to set up a tense last few minutes for the home side.
Indeed, Bates was within a whisker of grabbing a share of the spoils when his shot from the left hand side clipped the post. However, the Mallards held on as their great start to the season continued.
A. Rouse, M. McConkey, D. Keohane, L. Carters, M. Stafford, D. Kee, C. Curran, A. Crawford, J. McCartney, J. McKenna, R. Campbell.
Subs: S. Hutchinson for McKenna, S. Feeney for Crawford, L. Martin for McCartney,
A. Coleman, B. Shannon, K. Neill, E. McCallion, A. Kilmartin, C. Doherty, G. Bates, M. Brown, S. McCashin, C. Hagan, G. Hamilton.
Subs: M. Haughey for Kilmartin, M. Burrows for McCashin, A. McGrory for Doherty,