IRISH LEAGUE: Three sent off as Ballinamallard earn spirited win over Glentoran

Ballinamallard striker Stephen O'Flynn and Marcus Kane of Glentoran
Ballinamallard striker Stephen O'Flynn and Marcus Kane of Glentoran

A second half goal by Adam Lecky was enough for Ballinamallard United to take the three points in this incident-packed game at Ferney Park.

But it was referee Keith Kennedy who stole the limelight, showing three red cards and brandishishing another three yellows.

Lecky scored the decisive winner, sliding in at the near post to get a good touch to Ivan Sproule’s neat through ball just inside the penalty box.

Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson said: “The most important thing for us today was to get the result. They had a man sent off then we miss the penalty and you think, ‘not again’.

“Overall I felt we deserved to win. With 10 playing nine you would have thought there would have been more space on the pitch, but there was hardly a chance in the game.

“I don’t care. Today I saw pure desire, commitment, attitude and intensity right from the start of the game and we deserved the win.”

Glentoran manager Alan Kernaghan said little about the red card decisions, only that the referee’s decisions “made the result”.

He added: “We switched off just the once, but kept going and going.

“We need to dust ourselves and go again against Cliftonville. The character, strength and ability are there.”

Glentoran were reduced to 10 men when keeper Aaron Hogg was red carded for a foul on Stephen O’Flynn as he rounded him to score.

Substitute keeper Elliott Morris, who had failed a fitness test just before kick-off, made an excellent save from Jason McCartney’s spot kick.

Then just before the break an incident at the corner of the Glentoran penalty area saw Johnny Lafferty and Steven Gordon collide for a ball. It started a melee with referee Kennedy showing red to both players. In the dying seconds Glentoran almost pulled the goal back when Ciaran Caldwell saw his snap shot from distance come back off the base of the Ballinamallard post.