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Ballinamallard manager Gary Dykes drawing little comfort as chance to kill off Carrick Rangers is missed


Gareth McKeown

Gareth McKeown

Gareth McKeown

Ballinamallard United picked up their first point of the season in dramatic fashion against Carrick Rangers, but boss Gary Dykes was disappointed that they didn't claim a comeback victory.

Trailing 3-1 with four minutes to go, the Mallards dug deep to level but, when home goalkeeper Brian Neeson lashed out at Ryan Mayse in the box, it gave the visitors the chance to win it from the penalty spot - only for stand-in stopper Gareth McKeown to deny Shane McGinty.

"After being 3-1 down we got back into the game," said Dykes.

"We're disappointed we didn't win it when we had a penalty kick to win the game."

Adam Lecky put the visitors ahead before McKeown, Miguel Chines and TJ Murray fired Carrick 3-1 in front. Ryan Mayse's late volley gave United hope and, after Lecky had made it 3-3, Neeson's moment of madness gifted Ballinamallard a shot at victory and earned himself a red card before McKeown's last-gasp heroics.

"It could have cost us the game, it's certainly cost us two points and he'll be out for three games," said Carrick manager Kieran Harding.

"But to be fair, we got out of jail when McKeown saved the penalty."

carrick: Neeson, McKeown, Kelly, McNally, McCullough, Hanley, McNicholl, Murray, Clarke, McCaul (Morrow, 79 mins), Chines. Unused subs: Foster, Surgenor, Lavery, Rice.

Ballinamallard: McGrath, McKenna, McCabe, McGinty, Taheny, Lecky, McCartney, Armstrong (McIlwaine, 83 mins), McConnell, McMenamin (Currie, 69 mins), Flatley (Mayse, 73 mins). Unused subs: McCusker, McIlwaine, Morris.

Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Belfast)

Man of the match: Gareth McKeown

Match rating: 8/10

Belfast Telegraph