Ballinamallard 1 Glentoran 2.

Ballinamallard were denied a share of the spoils in their opening league encounter of the season against Glentoran by a controversial Curtis Allen goal in the 88th minute.

Although the Mallards had been under pressure for long periods in the second half they looked set for a point from the game with the sides level at 1-1.

However, a corner from the left was turned home by Alllen, his second of the game, and despite the Mallards vociferous appeals for handball the goal was allowed to stand as the Glens returned home with all three points.

It was a goal that left Mallards manager Gavin Dykes angry with the officials.

“Everybody in the ground seen that he put it in with his hand. I never slate referees but it is a terrible decision, he puts it in with his hand. My boys gave everything they could to get a result for us but it was a bad decision,” he stated.

Glentoran had the first chance of the game in the fourth minute but John McGuigan hit the side-netting when through on goal.

It was the Mallards, who lost captain James McKenna to a shoulder injury after only 12 minutes, who took the lead on the half hour as Ryan Curran fired home from the penalty spot after Josh McIlwaine was bundled over.

However, Glentoran were back on level terms eight minutes later as Allen flicked home from a ball across the face of the goal.

Glentoran controlled matters after the break and Richard Brush had to push a Tiarnan McNicholl free kick around the post while Colm McLaughlin cleared another effort off the line.

Just when it looked as though the Mallards would hold on for a point though came Allen's controversial winner which sealed the points for the visitors.

Next up for Ballinamallard is an away game against Glenavon on Tuesday night.