Belfast Telegraph

Gerard Lyttle favours positive mood after Cliftonville land a late knockout

Cliftonville 1 Ballinamallard United 0

By Conor McLaughlin

Gerard Lyttle has called for greater positivity around Solitude after his Cliftonville side left it late to break Ballinamallard United hearts.

After huffing and puffing their way through a turgid contest, the Reds finally blew the Mallards' house down when Davy McDaid pounced for a dramatic 95th minute winner - a development which Lyttle insists is worthy of praise.

"Our objective was to win the match and, even though the performance was a long way away from what we would have wanted, getting three points when you're below your best is a good sign," he said.

"I sometimes feel as though we're a bit too harsh on ourselves. When Crusaders or Linfield score late goals, it's because they've got great character but when we score late like today, it's down to luck.

"People seem to think we should be beating Ballinamallard 3-0 and 4-0, but that's not how this league works. They made it tough for us and we kept battling on until we got our reward."

Opposite number Gavin Dykes was gutted for his men.

"We had worked on things and changed our shape a little bit and it worked for the majority of the match," he said.

"Cliftonville didn't create anything over the course of the game, but we've had that one little lapse in the last few seconds and it's cost us."

CLIFTONVILLE: Burke, McGovern, Ives, McGuinness, Curran, Knowles, McDaid, M Donnelly, Catney, Winchester, Cosgrove. Subs: J Mooney, Bonner, Garrett (Catney, 59 mins), Lavery (Curran, 78 mins), G Donnelly.

BALLINAMALLARD: McGrath, McMenamin, Taheny, McCabe, McGinty, McKenna, McCartney, McConnell, Lecky, Mayse, Frempong. Subs: Lafferty (McCabe, 73 mins) Morris (McConnell, 83 mins), McIlwaine (Lecky, 90 mins), Owens, Elliott.

Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)

Man of the match: Ryan Mayse

Match rating: 5/10

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