Irish Premiership: Cliftonville 3-2 Ballinamallard Utd

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Cliftonville edged out Ballinmallard 3-2 at Solitude to go top of the Irish Premiership

Champions Cliftonville moved one point clear at the top of the Premiership after coming from a goal down to beat 10-man Ballinamallard at Solitude.

Jason McCartney lobbed the ball over Conor Devlin in the 43rd minute but Martin Donnelly fired home a 25-yard left-foot free-kick before the break.

Raymond Foy was sent-off, Joe Gormley got the final touch to make it 2-1 on 69 and David McDaid shot in after 78.

Johnny Lafferty grabbed a late consolation goal in the final minute.

The Mallards began the game hoping to make it three wins in a row and the Fermanagh men frustrated the hosts for much of the opening half as Tommy Breslin's side struggled to impose themselves.

Early on Ryan Campbell saw a looping header go over the bar and, at the other end, Gormley was off-target with a chance for the Reds.

Foy went close with a free-kick, before McCartney latched onto a long ball, broke clear and chipped over Devlin, who could only palm the ball into the net.

Donnelly's equaliser brought his side back into the game, while Chris Curran was denied by Stefan McCusker after the interval.

Devlin saved from Campbell, then Foy was dismissed for a second yellow card offence in the 57th minute.

Donnelly's shot into the box was touched into the net by Gormley, McDaid made the points secure after the ball fell to him inside the box and Lafferty reduced the deficit in the dying stages.

The success made it four victories in a row for Cliftonville following wins over Crusaders, Portadown and Linfield.

Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin: "Our attitude was not right to begin with - we were slow in our passing and movement but I'm delighted to come away with three points.

"The Mallards get the ball down and play good football but our players have worked hard and have got their just reward.

"We got ourselves into a dominant position and were controlling the game at 3-1 - they got a goal back, but we managed to hold on."

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