Belfast Telegraph

Whitey Anderson salutes new faces after crucial win

Ballinamallard United 4-2 Ballymena United

By Gareth Cauldwell

Ballinamallard United ended their winless streak in style as they swept aside Ballymena United 4-2 at Ferney Park.

A 3-0 win over Warrenpoint Town on October 30 was the last time that Whitey Anderson's side had tasted victory in the league but the Mallards boss has strengthened his squad with five new additions during January, and two were to the fore.

Ivan Sproule and Stephen O'Flynn made their home debuts and both produced eye-catching performances, O'Flynn getting among the goals while Sproule had two assists.

Strikes from James McKenna and O'Flynn gave the home side a two-goal lead at the break, but Ballymena hit back 15 seconds into the second-half through a Matthew Tipton header.

However, a Paddy McNally own goal and a Jason McCartney penalty put the Mallards into a 4-1 lead before Leroy Millar grabbed a late consolation.

"Those experienced players have added something to the table," said Anderson.

"Stephen O'Flynn was excellent. His hold up play, strength, the way he brought people into the game, he's an excellent player.

"Ivan Sproule won man of the match and deserved it. I thought he was all over the park."

The win gives the Mallards hope at the bottom of the table.

Ballymena boss Glenn Ferguson, without three of his regular back four through suspension, was disappointed.

"I'm embarrassed by that performance, embarrassed even more so by our defending. The quality of our defending was absolutely shocking," he blasted.

"When boys are given a chance they need to be ready. We played like a bunch of schoolboys who had never played together."

BALLINAMALLARD UNITED: Rouse, McMenamin, McCabe (Lecky, 81 mins), McKenna, Sproule, Lafferty, McCartney, Crilly (Dykes, 77 mins), Friars, Elliott, O'Flynn (Campbell, 46 mins).

BALLYMENA UNITED: Blayney, McBride, McNally, Thompson, Jenkins, Cushley (Gawley, 62 mins), Tipton, Kane, Ferguson (Henderson, 67 mins), McVey, Smith (Millar, 70 mins).

Man of the match: Ivan Sproule

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Evan Boyce (Ballygowan)

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