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Dykes upbeat despite seventh straight reversal for Mallards

Coleraine 3 Ballinamallard United 1

By Keith Thomas

Gavin Dykes doesn't believe that his misfiring Mallards are sitting ducks in the relegation battle.

But following a seventh straight defeat, Ballinamallard's top flight adventure is again beginning to look under threat.

United only just survived last season when they saw off Institute in the play-offs and Dykes watched his side jettison a single goal lead on Saturday to end up losers at the Showgrounds.

However, he remains upbeat: "We deserved better and might have taken something if we had been more decisive in front of goal," he maintained.

"We are playing decent football so I am not overly concerned about our situation. I see an honest bunch of lads who want to progress."

Former Showgrounds midfielder Shane McGinty steered the visitors in front early on when he converted Ryan Mayse's cross.

Oran Kearney's side responded promptly through a tidy Jordan Allan strike. The Scottish forward cleverly cut the ball past keeper James McGrath following Jamie McGonigle's flick on.

Striker James McLaughlin came off the bench to fire Coleraine into a second half lead. McGrath blocked Allan's initial shot and McLaughlin pounced to slot home on 72 minutes.

Midfielder Neil McCafferty redeemed himself after a penalty miss in midweek against Crusaders to convert a late spot kick.

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Ogilby, McCauley, McCafferty, Brown, McConaghie, Lyons, Parkhill (McLaughlin, 67 mins), McGonigle (Kee, 78 mins), Allan (Mullan, 90 mins). Unused subs: Higgins, Douglas.

Ballinamallard: McGrath, McMenamin, Taheny, McCabe (Owens, 83 mins), McGinty, McKenna, McCartney, McConnell (Morris, 80 mins), Lecky, Mayse, Frempong (Lafferty, 73 mins). Unused subs: McIlwaine, Elliott.

Referee: Steven Gregg (Ballyclare)

Man of the match: Jordan Allan

Match rating: 6/10

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