Beaming Ballinamallard United boss Whitey Anderson hailed the performance of Alvin Rouse after his team picked the pockets of Linfield in this Danske Bank Premiership clash at Windsor Park.
The big 33-year-old may have been at fault when Andy Waterworth shot David Healy’s team into the lead in a madcap five-minute spell just before the break, but he redeemed himself by producing a string of magnificent saves.
Just to add to the United woes, midfielder Shane McCabe received a red card seconds before the break following a mistimed challenge on Jamie Mulgrew.
As the Linfield faithful settled down for an anticipated second half goal avalanche, they were sadly disappointed. Instead, they were stunned into silence when Michael McCrudden shot United level within 11 minutes.
“I thought Alvin was outstanding,” said Anderson. “He grabbed everything that came at him. He was incredible. He’s just back after a three game suspension and we missed him. He certainly made a big difference against the Blues.
“Yes, he was probably at fault for Linfield’s goal, but he more than made up for that. I rate him as one of the best goalkeepers in the league. He gives a lot of confidence to the boys in front of him.
“To say I’m proud of the team would be an under-statement. We had a horrible run of results over the month of November. I told the boys to draw a line under it. We were a little bit inconsistent, but there were thing margins in most of the defeats,” he added.
“I think my players showed what they were all about. To get a point at Windsor Park is a massive result.
“We won here in the League Cup a few months back. Basically, we had a squad of players that worked hard and showed great desire.”
Linfield boss David Healy was again left speechless by another inept showing from a team that is dropping down the Premiership table at an alarming rate.
“We didn’t have enough quality to win the game against 10 men,” he said. “We should have had the game out of sight after we scored. Once again we are relying on Andy, we just don’t have enough players contributing in that department.
“Credit to Ballinamallard.
“They came with a game plan to sit in and hit us on the break, just as they did in the cup game a few months back.”