BALLINAMALLARD were the visitors at sunny Fortwilliam Park last Saturday. Tobermore were keen that their early season good form continued but the Fermanagh men proved that they will be a hard nut to crack again this season and, after an entertaining game, they went home with all 3 points.
The Mallards took just 4 minutes to open their account when poor marking gave Mark Stafford a clear header from a free kick and the big centre half made no mistake.
It took Tobermore 10 minutes to get into the game and they could have gone further behind in that time but they eventually settled down and Danny Gardner deservedly leveled things on 20 minutes with a well taken goal.
The goal saw Tobermore take control of the game with Neil Lamont and Davey Patton both going close but the goal that their possession deserved didn’t come.
Ballinamallard were the stronger side in the second half with left winger John Currie proving a real handful for the home defense but it was his striking partner Stuart Higginbotham who put the visitors in front again when he converted from the penalty spot on 55 minutes.
Home keeper Sammy Foster hotly disputed the referee’s decision to punish him for his challenge on Higginbotham but the decision stood and the centre forward took full advantage with a well placed spot kick.
With 10 minutes to go Foster made a brilliant save from Andy Crawford’s glancing header and at the other end sub Hugo Batista was unlucky not to level things again with a snap shot that Fergal Murphy did well to save.
Tobermore United: Foster, McComb, Millar, Donaldson, Neill, Stewart, Kelly, Gardner, Lamont, Patton, Magill subs Campbell (replaced McComb 79), Heneghan (replaced Stewart 79), Batista (replaced Magill 75), McKenna (not used)
Ballinamallard United: Murphy, McConkey, Keohane, Cartres, Stafford, Kee, Curran, Hutchinson, Higginbotham, Crawford, Currie subs Donnelly (replaced Higginbotham 72), Liggett (not used), Chambers (not used)