Irish Premiership: Ballinamallard Utd 1-3 Carrick Rangers

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Carrick Rangers get only their second league win of the season

Aaron Callaghan celebrated his first victory as Carrick Rangers manager as his side pulled off a rare win over Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park.

Ryan Mayse got the opener for the Mallards with a well-struck shot in the 39th minute.

Tiernan McNicholl quickly levelled and then put Carrick into the lead with a fine lob on 63 minutes.

The visitors made sure of the three points when Martin Murray netted a penalty after a foul on TJ Murray.

The win means 11th-placed Carrick are now just three points behind Ballinamallard who are 10th.

Ballinamallard had been the better team in the early exchanges, with Shane McGinty and Johnny Lafferty wasting good opportunities.

Carrick's win was only their second in the league this season
Carrick's win was only their second in the league this season

The lively Mayse was set up by the equally impressive Adam Lecky to rifle in from the edge of the six-yard area for the first goal.

But almost immediately, as the ball was played back up the park, a swift pass found McNicholl unmarked and he did the rest.

In the second half, it was again the Mallards who started more brightly, Johnny Lafferty forcing a fine save from Brian Neeson, who got down well to push the ball away.

From a speculative ball forward, McNicholl ran on to calmly lob over keeper James McGrath.

That goal gave Carrick the confidence to finish it off and in the 72th minute they were awarded a penalty after Jason McCartney foul on Murray.

The spot-kick was converted by Martin Murray to make sure of the away victory.

"It could have gone either way - they really gave us a match," said winning boss Callaghan.

"They took the lead but we responded quickly and I felt we were the better team in the second half."

It was only Carrick's second league victory this season, their other coming away to Glentoran on 13 August.

"It wasn't good enough. You have to do the basics right and we didn't," said Ballinamallard boss Gavin Dykes.

"We scored a goal but for the next five minutes we could not defend."