IRISH LEAGUE REACTION: Ballinamallard boss Gavin Dykes upbeat after his side beat Cliftonville

Ballinamallard manager Gavin Dykes
Ballinamallard manager Gavin Dykes

Ballinamallard United manager Gavin Dykes was delighted to see his side register their second win of the Danske Bank Premiership campaign with a 6-4 victory over Cliftonville in a thriller at Ferney Park on Friday night.

The basement club moved to within one point of Carrick Rangers at the foot of the Irish League table.

The Mallards enjoyed a great start and were 2-0 up inside 21 minutes through Ryan Curran and Sean Noble.

Jay Donnelly netted a reply for Cliftonville but home striker Stephen O’Flynn made it 3-1 before the interval.

Curran scored again with a penalty early in the second half after Garry Breen’s foul on Noble.

But Cliftonville mounted a revival, cutting it back to 4-3 through Ross Lavery and Joe Gormley.

James McKenna made it 5-3 but the visitors responded again with Gormley scoring his 100th league goal for the Belfast club.

Cliftonville had chances to equalise but substitute Jonathan Leddy sealed the rare Ballinamallard win with a brilliant long-range goal.

Dykes said:“The game should have been over at 4-1, but our defending was terrible. It’s all right scoring goals, but if we have to score six to win a game we’re going to be in trouble. It should have been done and dusted.

“I thought we were very good going forward but we gave away terrible goal. It was great to get three point, but we’ve got to get better.

“We haven’t won in a long time in the league, but we have enough experience now. The boys who have come in have given us a huge lift.

Going forward I’m very happy, but at the back we have to get better. We’ll enjoy it tonight.

We tried to play and it could have ended up 8-8, that’s the reality of it. But for us it gives the boys a lift. Things broke for us tonight, and we’ll enjoy it but we’re still not off the bottom.

We have to look after ourselves and do our own business and not rely on other teams and results.

Cliftonville manager Barry Gray fumed at his side’s performance.

“There were too many people sitting in the changing room expecting to do what other people expected us to do.

It was a dire performance, but full credit to Ballinamallard , but conceding six goals in one game is an utter disgrace.

Everything went wrong and we all have to take a collective responsibility. It’s not one that I wash my hand of with the team I picked tonight. It wasn’t the team I’ve been coaching. It’s an absolut disgrace to take supporters from Belfast to watch that display.

We have to give full credit to Ballinamallard because they punished us for everything we did wrong.

His message to the players was, performances like that are totally unacceptable.

“It would be great if the league was full of good pitches, easy opposition and sun shining. But when you are asked to play on the ugly side on a tough heavy pitch against opposition that’s fighting for their lives then we disappear.”