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Ballinamallard United boss Whitey Anderson (Picture: Lorcan Doherty/


AN under strength Limavady side came within one minute of what would have been a deserved draw at home to Championship leaders Ballinamallard but a defensive mix up at the death meant that the Mallards stole the points through an own goal from home net minder Laurence McCormick.

United started the brighter and on 3 minutes Friel's perceptive through ball set up Parkhill but he dragged his shot wide of the post.

United continued to press and pinned the visitors back without seriously troubling McGrath.

The visitors weathered the early storm and on 15 minutes Crawford robbed Blackburn and set up McCartney but he put his shot over.

Just before the half hour Crawford cut in from the right and unleashed a thumping shot that cannoned off the stanchion but when the Roesiders' defence failed to clear the ball came back to Crawford in a suspiciously offside position in the six yard box but he shot wide.

United came back with Friel making a forceful run and teeing up Logue whose shot was blocked.

Then just before the end of the half McIvor tried an audacious chip from almost the half way line that just missed the target.

The second half opened with Friel heading the ball out from the goal line after a wicked looping cross from the right with a visiting forward poised to pull the trigger.

At the other end he went on a driving run and set up Parkhill who scuffed his shot.

Friel had been giving the left back a torrid afternoon and again he was the provider for substitute Hutchinson but he could not convert the chance.

The winger next sent over a looping cross that Parkhill headed off target and then a rebounded effort fell to the unmarked striker but Parkhill's header was horribly wide.

At the other end, Kee went close with a dipping volley from the edge of the box.

The game had a dramatic finish, as Limavady substitute Janes McLaughlin - only on the pitch for eight minutes- received a straight red card for dissent after a messy challenge in the middle of the pitch.

It was one of many confusing decisions from the referee. Then came that late winner, as McCartney's corner caused confusion in the home defence and the hapless McCormick appeared to punch the ball into his own net off his Close.

It was very unfair on United, who were more than a match for the visitors.