Ballinamallard United net vital away goals to take big step towards top-flight survival
Institute 1-2 Ballinamallard United
Ballinamallard United's Premiership survival hopes were boosted with a 2-1 win over promotion hopefuls Institute.
Two vital away goals for Whitey Anderson's men leaves Championship 1 side Institute with a mountain to climb when they visit Ferney Park for the return leg of the promotion-relegation play-off on Tuesday night.
Following a tentative opening 20 minutes, the game burst into life with two penalties awarded in four minutes. The first was given to the Mallards when Mark Scoltock brought down Ryan Mayse in the area. Stephen O'Flynn's spot-kick was saved by Martin Gallagher, however, and his follow-up hit the post.
The drama didn't stop there, as first Scoltock and then team-mate Ciaran Harkin made frantic goal-line clearances, but when Johnny Lafferty headed the ball back across the face of goal, O'Flynn nodded home on 22 minutes.
Within a matter of minutes Institute's young attacking midfielders forced a corner.
The dangerous ball in was handled by O'Flynn, resulting in a penalty to the hosts and earning the Ballinamallard centre forward a yellow card.
Institute's Michael McCrudden stepped up, sending the spot-kick neatly into the net.
The impetus began to swing to the promotion hopefuls in the second-half, and a sustained period of pressure saw substitute Shane McGinty's half-volley force a superb save from Alvin Rouse.
Then, somewhat against the grain, Ballinamallard secured their second vital away goal on 69 minutes when John Currie's weak shot took a deflection off Scoltock and into the net.
Institute: Gallagher, Morrow, Dunne, McDermott, Scoltock, Harkin, McCrudden, Grace, Brown, Harkin (McGinty 50 mins), McIntyre (Brennan 83 mins).
Ballinamallard UNITED: Rouse, Morris, Mayse (Little 86 mins), Feeney, McCabe, McCartney, Dykes, O'Flynn, Currie (Beacom 83 mins'), Lafferty, Campbell.
Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn).