IRISH LEAGUE: Welcome victory for Ballinamallard over Ballymena

Ballinamallard's  Liam McMenamin  with Ballymena's Matthew Tipton
Ballinamallard's Liam McMenamin with Ballymena's Matthew Tipton

Ballinamallard United 4 Ballymena United 2

Ballinamallard picked up their first league win since October with this impressive 4-2 victory over visitors Ballymena today.

The win lifts the Fermanagh side up to ninth.

New boys Stephen O’Flynn and Ivan Sproule had a huge influence on the match with O’Flynn slipping a neat ball to Sproule who crossed low to the back post for James McKenna to open the Mallards account after 31 minutes.

Just before the break the Ferney Park side went two up when O’Flynn’s free kick from 25 yards took a wicked deflection to deceive keeper Alan Blayney.

But the home side were rocked back on their heels within 30 seconds of the restart when Matthew Tipton headed home from inside the six yard box from a good cross from the left.

Ballinamallard though looked a different side today and restored their two goal lead when Sproule broke brilliantly down the right flank and delivered a great near post cross for substitute Ryan Campbell to nick home.

Minutes later it was four this time Campbell raced through with McVey on his heels. The Ballinamallard striker was bundled over and Jason McCartney converted from the spot kick.

Two minutes into injury time though Ballymena pulled another back when Leroy Millar scored with a low drive into the far corner after he had beaten the home defence.

Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson said it was all about the win today.

“He praised the two new players O’Flynn and Sproule. They were a big plus for us today, I just thought overall it was a really good performance apart from the two goals we conceded.”

Ballymena manager Glen Ferguson was bitterly disappointed with the result and his side’s performance.

“I’m actually embarrassed by our standard of defending today. I’ve told the boys that. There weren’t too many people who did what they were meant to do today.

“You can’t come to places like Ballinamallard, score two goals and come away with nothing from the game.”

Ballinamallard United: Rouse, McMenamin, McCabe (Lecky 81), McKenna, Sproule, Lafferty, McCartney, Crilly (Dykes 78), Friars, Elliott, O’Flynn (Campbell 45)

Subs: Falcooner, Lecky, Mayse, Campbell, Dykes

Ballymena United: Blayney, McBride,, McNally, Thompson, Jenkins, Cushley (Gawley 62), Tipton, Kane, Ferguson (Henderson68), McVey, Smith (Millar 71)

Subs: Henderson, Millar,, Hanley, Gawley, Graham

Referee Evan Boyce