Ballymena United 3 - 2 Portadown

League - NIFL Premiership
Saturday, August 16th, 2014, 3:00 PM at Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 855
Referee: Tim Marshall
Ballymena United  Portadown

Kyle McVey (31)
Allan Jenkins (71)
Darren Henderson (79)
Robert Garrett (65)
Darren Murray (pen.) (90)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Ronnie McFall

Starting Eleven
Dwayne Nelson
Jonathan Taylor
Kyle McVey
Mark McCullagh
Stephen McBride
Alan Teggart
Allan Jenkins
Gavin Taggart
Neal Gawley
David Cushley
Matthew Tipton
David Miskelly
Chris Casement
Garry Breen
Ross Redman
Christopher Ramsey
Jordan Lyttle
Sean Mackle
Robert Garrett
Mark McAllister
Gary Twigg
Darren Murray

Aaron Harris
David Munster
Mark Surgenor
Michael Ruddy
Darren Henderson
Peter McMahon
Matthew McMahon
Billy Brennan
Emmet Friars
Marcio Soares

David Munster for Kyle McVey (48)
Darren Henderson for David Cushley (78)
Michael Ruddy for Alan Teggart (81)
Peter McMahon for Christopher Ramsey (75)

Dwayne Nelson (61)
Garry Breen (45)
Darren Murray (61)
Mark McAllister (75)
Ross Redman (75)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dwayne Nelson (GK) 180 apps -
Jonathan Taylor 73 apps8 goals
Stephen McBride 24 apps -
Mark McCullagh 46 apps -
Kyle McVey 4 apps1 goal
Gavin Taggart 147 apps6 goals
Allan Jenkins 120 apps21 goals
Alan Teggart 125 apps23 goals
Neal Gawley 15 apps2 goals
Matthew Tipton 4 apps -
David Cushley 166 apps39 goals
Michael Ruddy (sub) 49 apps1 goal
David Munster (sub) 102 apps6 goals
Darren Henderson (sub) 18 apps8 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:David Cushley (25 years 31 days)
Oldest Player:Matthew Tipton (34 years 56 days)
Average Player Age:29 years 68 days
Domestic Players:9 (81.82 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Aaron Harris (19 years 296 days)
Oldest Player:David Munster (35 years 182 days)
Average Player Age:28 years 152 days
Domestic Players:14 (87.50 % of matchday squad)

BALLYMENA United maintained their position at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership table courtesy of an entertaining 3-2 victory over Portadown at the Showgrounds.

Portadown threatened first, but Mark McAllister's early strike from inside the box struck the cross bar as United escaped unscathed. The opening exchanges were otherwise fairly quiet until the hosts took the lead on the half hour mark. Neal Gawley's corner from the right hand side found Kyle McVey unmarked in the box and the summer singing headed the ball down and into the net to give his side the lead.

Early in the second half, Matthew Tipton forced a good save out of Portadown goalkeeper David Miskelly after a through ball from Stephen McBride before Miskelly again showed expert reflexes to deny Alan Teggart. United were in control at this point, and almost doubled their lead through another Neal Gawley corner. After a goal mouth scramble, the ball eventually fell to Allan Jenkins but the United captain drilled his powerful effort just over the frame of the goal.

Soon after, tempers flared as Dwayne Nelson and Ports striker Darren Murray became involved in an altercation with Mark McAllister perhaps fortunate not to be sent off after raising his hands to the United goalkeeper. The home side continued to press, with Alan Teggart's effort denied by David Miskelly after Matthew Tipton's lay off.

On 66 minutes, against the run of play, Portadown were level. Midfielder Robert Garret collected the ball near the halfway line and strode forward before unleashing an effort from almost 30 yards which nestled into the bottom corner to give the visitors some much needed belief. However, parity in the scoreline was not to last long as Allan Jenkins and Alan Teggart combined well from a free kick, with the former stroking the ball home to give United a deserved lead.

On 85 minutes, in desperate search of an equaliser, Portadown forced a corner but somehow conceded from it, as the ball was instantly cleared to Darren Boyce on the halfway line, who raced through on goal to slot the ball past David Miskelly and effectively wrap up proceedings.

Portadown did score a late consolation through a Darren Murray penalty after substitute Michael Ruddy was penalised for a handball in the box but it mattered little as United held out to record their second consecutive home win and preserve their unbeaten start to the new season.

Match report written by Jordan Miller

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Ballymena United 3 2 1 0 7 4 3 7
2. Cliftonville 3 2 1 0 4 2 2 7
3. Linfield 3 2 0 1 5 6 -1 6
4. Crusaders 3 1 2 0 7 5 2 5
5. Dungannon Swifts 3 1 2 0 5 3 2 5
6. Institute 3 1 1 1 6 5 1 4
7. Glentoran 3 1 1 1 5 4 1 4
8. Glenavon 3 1 1 1 4 4 0 4
9. Portadown 3 1 0 2 5 4 1 3
10. Ballinamallard United 3 0 2 1 3 5 -2 2
11. Coleraine 3 0 1 2 2 5 -3 1
12. Warrenpoint Town 3 0 0 3 1 7 -6 0
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