Ballinamallard Utd 0 Dungannon Swifts 1

There was no festive cheer for Ballinamallard as their miserable season continued with defeat to Dungannon Swifts at Ferney Park today.

Gavin Dykes side had battled hard throughout the game and looked set to claim a point from an encounter that saw little in the way of clear cut chances for either side.

However, with ten minutes to go, Swifts centre half David Armstrong headed home what was to be the only goal of the game.

Dungannon had the better of things for the majority of the first half but they failed to test Mallards goalkeeper Richard Brush with Ryan Harpur heading over the bar and former Mallard Johnny Lafferty blazing over.

The Mallards best opportunity in the first half fell to Ciaran Martyn who blasted over from the edge of the box.

Both sides had chances at the start of the second half but Mayse was off target with a volley while at the other end Ross Taheny's shot was blocked.

Ryan Curran then poked wide from a Jacob Britton cross but with 80 minutes gone the Swifts broke the deadlock as Armstrong headed home after Peter McMahon had nodded back across the goal.

The result leaves the Mallards five points adrift of second from bottom Carrick Rangers with the sides to meet in a crunch affair on Friday night.

After the game, Mallards boss Dykes revealed that he has secured the signing of former Carrick and Bray Wanderers attacker Sean Noble while he has agreements in place for two further players.

They will join other new signing Ryan O'Reilly who impressed in the centre of the Mallards defence in his second outing for the club.