Ballinamallard Utd 1-0 Coleraine

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Ballinamallard grab top spot in the Irish Premiership with a 1-0 victory over Coleraine at Ferney Park

Irish Premiership newcomers Ballinamallard United went top of the league table after deservedly beating Coleraine at Ferney Park.

After an uneventful first half, Chris Curran twice went close and then Leon Carters headed over the bar.

Ryan Campbell scored in the 73rd minute when the ball broke to him and he fired a left-foot shot past Michael Doherty.

Curtis Allen was off-target with a header, before Campbell and Jason McCartney almost increased the lead.

The Fermanagh outfit went in to the game on the back of five straight league wins but were without skipper and centre-back Mark Stafford for the visit of the in-form Bannsiders.

The visitors, unbeaten away from home prior to this defeat, had to plan without another influential defender David Ogilby.

Chances were few and far between in the first period, although Andy Crawford scuffed a shot for the Mallards.

Paul Owens went close for Oran Kearney's side after the break, then Curran curled an effort wide and had another attempt turned away for a corner by Doherty.

Campbell's strike sent the home fans into raptures and, in the end, the winning margin could have been more convincing.

Campbell broke clear late in the game but Doherty made a fine save, and then McCartney fired wide in the closing moments.

"It hasn't sunk in yet that we are top of the table," said the scorer of the winning goal after the game.

"We have a great team spirit and everyone is battling for each other," he added.

Whitey Anderson's men head Cliftonville on goal difference and face Crusaders at home next week as they bid to extend their winning run to seven matches.