Gray draws positives as dominant Reds are frustrated at Ferney
Ballinamallard United 1 Cliftonville 1
Cliftonville boss Barry Gray felt his side should have returned home from Ferney Park with the three points, but he was much happier with the performance than he was following the midweek defeat to Coleraine.
The Mallards had taken the lead midway through the first half when Ryan Curran converted from the spot but a Garry Breen header had the Reds level by the break. However, the visitors wasted a few good chances in the second half as they had to settle for a point.
"I think our performance was much better than it was on Tuesday night and we probably deserved to win the game, but we didn't. I don't think we can be too hard on ourselves about that. We missed a couple of glorious opportunities in the game but sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't and you just have to dust yourself off and go again next week.
"We are pleased with the reaction we have got from Tuesday night, we looked much more like a team. If we can keep working hard and showing the same desire as we did today, I have no doubt that it will come together," he said.
Ballinamallard manager Gavin Dykes was pleased with the character shown by his side as they put Tuesday night's 6-2 loss to Glenavon behind them to secure a hard fought point, their first of the season. "We dug in and showed great character and great heart. It has been a tough week, we took a hiding on Tuesday night but we got a reaction from the players and hopefully now we can push on," he commented.
Ballinamallard: Brush, McConnell, Clarke, McGinty, Hutchinson (Burns, 56 mins), Curran, Martyn (McLaughlin, 78 mins), Leddy, McIlwaine, Smyth, Canning (Owens, 66 mins).
Cliftonville: Long, Ives, Breen (Ramsey, 46 mins), Harney, Hughes (Curran, 77 mins), M Donnelly, Bagnall, Winchester, Gormley, J Donnelly, Cosgrove.
Referee: Lee Tavinder