Two goals in a minute fire Mallards to Lisburn win
Published: 1 Jan 2013 17:14
O'Grady came back into the midfield after injury for a rare start and McCartney also returned to the starting eleven with Feeney and McKenna dropping to the substitutes bench as the visitors looked to bounce back from their defeat to Crusaders. Ballinamallard had put five past Distillery on their last visit to Lisburn and went into the game as favourites for victory. Distillery were sitting at the bottom of the Premiership table with only two wins all season. By contrast Ballinamallard's six wins away from home was matched only by leaders Cliftonville.
On a pitch that was bumpy and uneven Ballinamallard struggled to impose their brand of passing football but as the half progressed the visitors gradually got on top. Campbell had a shot saved and Crawford could not take a through ball in his stride as he threatened to burst clear as the half finished goalless.
Distillery started the second period well and the Mallards were finding it difficult to create chances. The home side had a few long range efforts without even really threatening Alvin Rouse's goal, and on 78 minutes the game turned decisively in Ballinamallard's favour. Curran turned well in the box and bent a shot that looked destined for the far corner, only for the keeper to save well. From the rebound Ballinamallard got the ball back into the penalty area and Jason McCartney stabbed the ball into the net from close range.
A minute later they had doubled their lead when from a left wing cross Davy Kee headed in off the underside of the bar, with the linesman flagging to signal it had crossed the line before the goal keeper could gather. Seconds later Crawford came within inches of diverting a Curran effort into the goal for a third.
The win keeps Ballinamallard sixth in the table and extends their advantage over seventh placed Portadown to six points.
See Thursday's Impartal Reporter for full report and reaction to this win.