Steve Feeney (52)

1

Diarmuid O'Carroll (88)

1

Jordan Owens contests a header with Emmett Friars (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

MALLARDS THWARTED BY LATE CRUES EQUALISER

Crusaders slipped off the top of the table following this draw with Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park.

Jordan Owens created the first effort early in proceedings when he went close from Richard Clarke's corner.

At the other end not long after Crues 'keeper Sean O'Neill got down well to deny Liam Martin whilst the Ballinamallard man was also thwarted later in the first half by a crucially timed Billy Joe Burns tackle.

The Crues had the better chances, though, with Gavin Whyte bursting through with only the acute angle beating him while Andrew Mitchell also saw a half-volley turned away.

Owens came close again early in the second half with a header from Craig McClean's cross.

But the deadlock was broken on 52 minutes after Johnny Lafferty delivered a cross for Steve Feeney to head beyond O'Neill.

That was how it stayed until two minutes from time when, following a period of pressure, the ball fell for Diarmuid O'Carroll inside the area before being turned home.

And Owens almost nicked it for the visitors in stoppage time only to be denied by Rouse.

Ballinamallard United: Rouse, McMenamin, McLaughlin, Martin, Lafferty, McCartney, Beacom, Lecky, McCrudden, Campbell, Friars subs McCusker (not used), Carters (not used), Feeney (replaced Beacom 20), Phair (not used), Courtney (replaced Feeney 72)

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Robinson, Forsythe, McClean, Owens, Snoddy, Clarke, Heatley, Whyte, Mitchell subs Stewart (replaced Mitchell 67), O'Carroll (replaced Forsythe 75), Molloy (not used), McKibbin (not used), Carvill (replaced Whyte 72)

Referee: Ross Dunlop

Attendance: 363