A stoppage-time equaliser by teenager Niall Owens earned Ballinamallard United a precious point at Dungannon Swifts this evening.
Owens popped up with a 91st minute goal after Dougie Wilson looked to have secured the win for Swifts four minutes from full-time
Earlier the Mallards’ Adam Lecky had cancelled out Jamie Glackin’s second minute opener with a 67th minute penalty.
Swifts flew out of the traps and in the second minute midfielder Glackin ghosted into the box to head a left-sided cross high into Cameron Crawford’s top right hand corner.
The home side threatened to extend their early advantage with Paul McElroy waltzing in off the right to curl inches over before Glackin swapped passes with David Armstrong to whip in a dangerous centre which his team-mates failed to turn home.
The Mallards’ first effort on target was a rasping 25-yarder from Johnny Lafferty which Andy Coleman held comfortably before Andy Mitchell, the league’s top scorer, blazed over at the other end.
The visitors finished the half with a flourish but the best Gavin Dykes’ team offered was a Lafferty volley straight at Coleman.
On the resumption of the second period Swifts went straight on the attack and Rod McAree’s side had two glorious opportunities to extend their advantage.
Just five minutes in Ducks stopper Crawford spectacularly saved a Mitchell penalty after Colm McLaughlin, in his first game back from long term injury, felled McElroy.
Moments later, a stunning pass by Glackin sent the raiding Armstrong clear but Crawford again rode to the rescue with another fine stop.
Back at the opposite end the Mallards should have equalised when Lecky drilled over from Ryan Mayse’s low centre.
Mayse, too, created the next opportunity but after a good run centre forward Josh McIlwaine couldn’t get high enough to direct the Newtown man’s teasing delivery goalwards.
But on 67 minutes the sides were level. Swifts defender Chris Hegarty caught Lecky in the box, referee Keith Kennedy pointed to the spot and the towering midfielder converted for his 11th of the season.
Dungannon almost regained the lead shortly afterwards but Crawford tipped a deflected Mitchell free kick onto his crossbar before being cleared to safety.
Then came the late drama. Wilson fired the hosts back in front after the Mallards defence failed to clear a Cormac Burke corner kick but it was the visitors had the final say. Moments after Lecky was dismissed for a second yellow card, youngster Owens popped up with a stoppage-time equaliser.
Dungannon Swifts: Coleman; Hegarty; Armstrong; O’Rourke; Wilson; Teggart (Lockhart 83); McMahon (Burke 71); Glackin; Harpur; McElroy (Lavery 71); Mitchell.
Subs not used: Addis; Lowe.
Ballinamallard United: Crawford; McLaughlin; McConnell; McCartney; McKenna (McMenamin 42); McCabe; Lafferty; McGinty; Mayse; Lecky; McIlwaine (Owens 62).
Subs not used: McGrath; Frempong; Elliott.
Referee: K Kennedy (Lisburn)
GAVIN Dykes will make a decision on his future as manager of Ballinamallard United Football Club next week.