Glentoran went into this game in confident mood having reached the Irish Cup final last weekend and with three wins against Ballinamallard already in the Danske Bank Premiership this season.
With Stephen McAlorum serving a one match suspension and Jay Magee carrying an ankle injury, Eddie Patterson made a few changes to the starting line up. The Glens got underway at a wet and windy Ferney Park and for the first 45 minutes had the wind at their backs. Stephen Carson tried his luck from 25 yards with a free kick on 7 minutes but his shot deflected off the wall and went for a corner. Ryan Campbell had the first real opportunity for the home side (9) but his shot from the edge of the box was narrowly over. On the quarter hour mark Carson played Andy Waterworth away on the right. Waterworth outpaced the defence and crossed into the 6-yard box but the in-rushing David Howland was unable to get a proper contact on the ball and the danger was cleared. A minute later Richard Clarke fashioned a chance for Waterworth but his effort was off target. Mallards keeper, Alvin Rouse, was forced to make the first save of the game after 21 minutes. Last week's goal hero, Marcus Kane's shot from the edge of the area lacked the power toreally trouble the keeper. After the half hour the home side came more into the game. Elliott Morris saved from Ryan Campbell (34) and then Steve Feeney had a chance but again Morris was equal to it. As the interval approached there were a couple more half chances for the Glens. Stephen Carson's shot (41) was blocked by a defender and then as the 45 minutes expired Carson put Kevin Bradley away down the right. His excellent cross found Waterworth but his effort fialed to trouble Rouse.
3 minutes into the second half Glentoran should have taken the lead. Andy Waterworth intercepted a back pass and raced clear before pulling the ball back to David Howland. Unfortunately Howland's shot was deflected wide of the goal. From the resulting corner the ball fell to Calum Birney but the central defender's shot was blocked by his defensive partner, Colin Nixon! Kevin Bradley made a timely clearance (55) to deny Ballinamallard a goal and then on the hour an error from Howland presented a chance for David Kee but he didn't test Morris. A speculative 25 yard shot from Waterworth was too high (62) and then a free kick from Kee was saved at the second attempt by Morris. Elliott was quickly off his line to save from Jason McCartney (72) and Mark Stafford had a header come off the inside of the post (79) before being hacked clear. As the game entered its final stages Glentoran's two substitutes combined to almost snatch all 3 points. On 90 minutes great work by Martin Murray on the left set up a chance for Richard Gibson but his 25 yard curler was inches over. In stoppage time Murray crossed from the left corner of the 18-yard box but Gibson failed to convert at the back post.
Match highlights on BBC Sport NI HERE
Glentoran: Morris, Bradley, Hill, Nixon (capt), Birney, M. Clarke, Howland, Carson, Kane, R. Clarke & Waterworth.
Subs: M. Murray for Carson (66) and Gibson for R. Clarke (75).