IRISH LEAGUE: Gareth McKeown heroics save Carrick in draw with Ballinamallard
CARRICK RANGERS 3 BALLINAMALLARD UNITED 3
Gareth McKeown saved Carrick’s bacon on Saturday as they hit the self destruct button. Ahead 3-1 with six minutes to play, the looked home and hosed.
However, Mallards sub Ryan Mayse crashed home to make it 3-2 on 85 and then Adam Lecky levelled the scores two minutes into injury time.
As if that wasn’t enough, they should have won it.
Carrick keeper Brian Neeson was sent off after a coming together with Mayse had Shane McGinty had the chance to win it from the spot.
Right-back Gareth McKeown though, pulled on the keeper’s shirt and made the save.
Carrick had looked certs to win when Miguel Chines and TJ Murray struck early in the second half to put them two goals to the good.
The first half was a fairly even affair, the teams level at the break.
Ballinamallard had come out all guns blazing and hit the front on just four minutes. Imposing striker Adam Lecky got the goal but it came via a real gaffe from the Carrick keeper.
Neeson’s clearance went straight to the forward and when the shot came in, the goalkeeper will have wanted to have done better at his near post.
There was absolute nothing, however, his opposite number James McGrath could have done about Gareth McKeown’s equaliser. The former Glenavon right-back strode onto the loose ball outside the box and spanked it into the bottom corner. You don’t save those.
And that was just the beginning of what was to be an eventful day for McKeown.
CARRICK: Neeson, Kelly, Hanley, McNally, McCaul, McCullough, Clarke, McKeown, McNicholl, Chines, Murray.
Subs: Morrow, Foster, Surgenor, Lavery, Rice
BALLINAMALLARD: McGrath, McKenna, McCabe, McGinty, Taheny, Lecky, McCartney, Armstrong, McConnell, McMenamin, Flatley.
Subs: McCusker, Mayse, Currie, McElwaine, Morris