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Ballinamallard 1 Crusaders 3

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter saw his side respond to their Boxing Day top of the table derby defeat to Cliftonville by claiming three points at Ferney Park on Saturday.

However, with Cliftonville also winning the gap at the top remains nine points, although Baxter insists he is not overly concerned about that at present.

“There’s been no change at the top but I believe in looking after our own games, get on with it and see what comes our way. I’m not over anxious about the table at this point, just that we keep playing our football and collect as many points as we can,” he said.

This was a game that could have gone either way with Ballinamallard having the better of the exchanges in the opening 30 minutes when they took the lead through Davy Kee.

Crusaders though turned things around before half time with goals from a Gary McCutcheon penalty and Jordan Owens and they wrapped up the points with a Declan Caddell strike late on.

“We should have been two down, they missed a very good chance to score, and then we missed a very good chance to go 3-1 up with Jordan Owens’ close-range header,” said Baxter.

“I wasn’t pleased with our first 20-25 minutes but after that we played really well. In the second half we were incredibly dominant and had good delivery of the ball into the box, Jordan might have had a couple more goals.”

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Ballinamallard manager Whitey Anderson felt his side played well, especially in the early stages, but was frustrated with the amount of chances they are failing to put away.

“I’m very disappointed and so are the players after those opening 25 or 30 minutes that we didn’t take something from the game. The players are particularly very downbeat, thinking they deserved more,” he said. “We can definitely bounce back from this, the players’ disappointment shows they want to do better.”

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