Ballinamallard rode luck on way to victory, admits relieved Dykes
Ballinamallard United 1-0 Cliftonville
Ballinamallard supremo Gavin Dykes made the case for his defence after his team registered a first victory over Cliftonville at Ferney Park on Saturday.
A second half strike by Ryan Mayse ultimately proved decisive as the Fermanagh outfit recorded a Ferney first against the Reds in five seasons in the top flight.
The Reds attack was largely kept in check by a stubborn and well-organised home defence although it took a superb penalty save by United stopper Richard Brush four minutes from time to secure an eighth league win for United.
It was back-to-back clean sheets for the Mallards, following a 1-0 victory at Glentoran two weeks ago, although Dykes admitted his team had rode their luck on occasions.
"Cliftonville are a good footballing side and we sort of rode our luck a wee bit," said the former Sligo Rovers boss.
"They maybe bossed the game but for honesty, work-rate and endeavour we were very good.
"We had a wee bit of quality when it mattered most and it was a good finish by Maysie.
"It was nice to get another clean sheet. Brushy is getting a lot of praise and rightly so.
"But I think Colm McLaughlin, McKenna (James) and the whole back four have been really good in the last couple of weeks.
"And the lads in front of them. They have a job to do when we haven't got the ball. We work very hard on defensive stuff and counter-attacking.
"In that regard McGinty (Shane) was excellent for us. He was immense they couldn't handle him."
Chris Ramsey was dismissed in the final moment and Reds chief Gerard Lyttle was understandably downbeat after his team had been beaten for the first time in 16 attempts by the Mallards.
"We had shots two yards out, three yards out that were going wide," he said.
"At the end of the day we are just not ruthless enough."