BALLINAMALLARD 2, GLENTORAN 1
A half-time brawl proved the turning point of a feisty afternoon at Ferney Park.
Glentoran bossed the first-half but when Steven Gordon was shown a straight red by referee Raymond Crangle, Ballinamallard had the upper hand.
They didn’t take long to capitalise and were 2-0 up inside 10 minutes of the restart through Ryan Mayse and substitute Joshua McIlwaine.
Stephen O’Flynn and Curtis Allen threatened for Glentoran during a dominant first half but after Crangle had blown the half-time whistle, a brawl erupted with the result a Gordon red, allegedly for a slap on Johnny Lafferty, who was given a yellow for his part in the affair.
Mayse was a real shining light for the Mallards. His fourth league goal of the season was a well struck low effort that nestled into the bottom corner and McIlwaine then almost burst the net with his first league goal of the season.
They had the ever impressive Jay McCartney to thank for being level at half-time. He had cleared Stephen O’Flynn’s header off the line and O’Flynn and strike partner Allen both went close to giving Glentoran the lead.
In the second half and without Gordon, a real driving force, they struggled to create anything until Jay Magee lashed home a 90th minute free-kick.
It was a sour result on what was a landmark day for Glentoran. Ethan Warnock made his debut at the age of 15 years and 306 days to become the club’s youngest ever first team player.
He will move to Everton at the end of the season but today, it was Ballinamallard who did the moving, three points ahead of Carrick.