Belfast Telegraph

Lyttle is content to prioritise points over Reds' performances

Ballinamallard United1 Cliftonville 2

By Gareth Cauldwell

Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle admits that the result was the most important thing to come out of Saturday's 2-1 win over Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park.

The Reds played against 10 men for the majority of the game after the Mallards had attacker Liam Flatley controversially sent off after only 27 minutes.

It looked to be going the visitors' way when they then took the lead five minutes after the red card through Darren Murray, but the Mallards rallied and levelled when Adam Lecky slotted home after an error by goalkeeper Jason Mooney on the stroke of half-time.

Cliftonville edged back in front through a Ryan McConnell own goal but United had a great chance to grab a point when they were awarded a penalty only for Jason McCartney to push his effort wide.

Lyttle was delighted to see his men return to winning ways.

"It's a massive three points," said Lyttle.

"We had a disappointing performance and result last week against Dungannon so it was just important to get a result.

"It is always nice to get a result and a performance, we probably didn't get the performance we were looking for but it's three points, we'll build on it and move on."

The Reds boss also felt his side got the rub of the green, which had not been the case so far this term.

"We didn't play as well as I thought we can but we got a rub of the green and I don't think we've had that this season or the tail end of last season. It's just good to get a win under our belt and it's something that we can build on."

Ballinamallard boss Gavin Dykes had no doubt that the sending off of Flatley was the key moment and feels that referee Keith Kennedy made the wrong call. He sent the forward off for a challenge on Jason McGuinness when there had been no Cliftonville appeals for a red card.

"It was never a sending off," he said. "There was no malice or intent, he was trying to stop going into him and it changed the whole complexion of the game. It is hard enough for us to play with 11 men against Cliftonville."

Dykes also wants his side to be more clinical with McCartney's miss the second penalty that they have failed to convert in a frustrating week.

"I'm exceptionally proud of the way we played but it's a ruthless game," he added.

"We have dropped four points from missing two penalty kicks in two games and at this level you can't afford to do that."

ballinamallard: McGrath, Currie, McConnell (Morris, 71 mins), Taheny, Lecky, McCabe (Mayse, 80 mins), McGinty 7, McKenna 7, McMenamin 6, Flatley 6, McCartney 6 (Armstrong, 82 mins). Unused subs: McCusker, Elliott.

cliftonville: J Mooney, McGovern, Ives, Harkin, Cosgrove, McGuinness, Lavery, Winchester, Murray (McDaid, 85 mins), Garrett (Curran, 64 mins), J Donnelly. Unused subs: Bonner, M Donnelly, G Donnelly.

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)

Man of the match: John Currie

Match rating: 6/10

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