INSTITUTE 0 BALLINAMALLARD UNITED 2
Whitey Anderson cut a delighted figure following the final whistle at the Riverside Stadium, the Ballinamallard boss having watched his side leapfrog Institute into ninth place on goal difference.
But it could have been so different had the home lot taken advantage of an 8th minute penalty award when Mark Stafford pushed Institute’s Robbie Hume when inside the penalty area.
Up stepped Aaron Walsh and as keeper, Stefan McCusker dived the wrong way, the ‘Stute midfielder amazingly dragged the ball wide of the upright.
The Mallards gained confidence from that miss and, indeed, went so close to breaking the deadlock themselves in the 27th minute when Stafford’s attempted lob dropped agonisingly over the crossbar.
Johnny Lafferty then threated when he drilled a left foot drive agonisingly wide of the upright as the visitors continued to push forward.
With the play ebbing and flowing, Armstrong should have done better in the 34th minute when put through by Robbie Hume, the winger flashing the ball well wide of the target.
Following the change of ends Ballinamallard were awarded a spotkick when ‘Stute keeper, Eugene Ferry, brought the lively Liam Martin crashing down to earth in the 56th minute.
Referee, Peter McGrath took his time before pointing to the spot and up stepped Jason McCartney who made no mistake from 12 yards.
Pushing forward at every opportunity to kill the game off, Ballinamallard were unfortunate when Ferry failed to clear another Stafford header, the ball rebounding off the upright and into the keeper’s hands.
However, in the 80th minute the visitors deservedly confirmed their victory. Following a corner the ball was beaten out into the path of substitute, Davy Kee and he steered the ball into the far corner through a ruck of players.
Institute - Ferry; Crown, Scoltock, O’Donnell, Curry (McVeigh, 75), McManus, Walsh, Forker (Young, 72), O’Flynn, Hume, Armstrong (Doherty, h/t).
Ballinamallard - McCusker, McMenamin, Stafford, Martin, Hutchinson (Foy, 26), Lafferty (Kee, 67), McCartney,Currie, Campbell (Feeney, 88), Crilly, McLoughlin.
Referee - Mr. P. McGrath (Newtownabbey).