Ballymena United 0 - 1 Dungannon Swifts

League - NIFL Premiership
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021, 7:45 PM at Ballymena Showgrounds
Referee: Chris Morrison
Ballymena United  Dungannon Swifts

None. Rhyss Campbell (82)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Kris Lindsay

Starting Eleven
Jordan Williamson
Conor Keeley
Jonathan Addis
Joshua Kelly
Kofi Balmer
Ross Redman
Tony Kane
Trai Hume
Ben Wylie
Paul McElroy
Shay McCartan
Roy Carroll
Caolin Coyle
Alan Teggart
Douglas Wilson
Callum Byers
Caolan McAleer
Oisin Smyth
Ben Gallagher
Michael Carvill
Ryan Mayse
Terry Devlin

Ross Glendinning
Jim Ervin
Andrew McGrory
James Knowles
Sean Graham
Joseph McCready
Ryan Waide
Rhyss Campbell
Mark Patton
Dylan O'Kane
Adam Glenny
Matthew Smyth
Nathaniel Ferris
Rory Patterson

Ryan Waide for Ben Wylie (63)
Andrew McGrory for Tony Kane (63)
Matthew Smyth for Douglas Wilson (56)
Rory Patterson for Ben Gallagher (59)
Rhyss Campbell for Caolan McAleer (68)

None. Douglas Wilson (44)
Callum Byers (62)
Michael Carvill (74)
Ryan Mayse (89)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Jordan Williamson (GK) 26 apps -
Conor Keeley 2 apps -
Joshua Kelly 44 apps2 goals
Jonathan Addis 92 apps5 goals
Kofi Balmer 99 apps7 goals
Trai Hume 13 apps1 goal
Ross Redman 14 apps -
Tony Kane 347 apps48 goals
Ben Wylie 1 app (debut) -
Shay McCartan 14 apps4 goals
Paul McElroy 14 apps7 goals
Andrew McGrory (sub) 75 apps20 goals
Ryan Waide (sub) 11 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Ben Wylie (18 years 223 days)
Oldest Player:Tony Kane (33 years 166 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 2 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Ben Wylie (18 years 223 days)
Oldest Player:Jim Ervin (35 years 251 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 349 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

Ballymena United's eight game unbeaten run came to an end following a 1-0 defeat to Dungannon at a dreary Showgrounds this evening.

United handed a debut to recent signing Ben Wylie who came in for the injured Jude Winchester. Injury also forced Leroy Millar out, with Tony Kane taking his place and the armband. Andy McGrory and James Knowles also made welcome returns to the matchday squad.

On a cold and blustery night on a wet Showgrounds surface, the opening half an hour produced precious few chances. The visitors did start well and had half an opening in the first minutes of the game when a free kick wasn't dealt with by the hosts, before Kane eventually cleared the dangerous in the six yard box.

The Sky Blues' first chance was a good one, after some great build up play. Shay McCartan started the move on halfway and eventually could've finished it, after Wylie and Paul McElroy added some neat play, but McCartan failed to connect with McElroy's ball when ummarked on the penalty spot.

Another half chance fell Dungannon's way when Ryan Mayse tried a volleyed finish on his return to Warden Street, but his strike ended up finding the bodies in the middle of the box rather than the target, and United cleared.

After Callum Byers had headed narrowly wide for the Swifts, Ballymena had a huge chance to open the scoring through Wylie, as they finished the half well. Another piece of good build up play ended with Wylie getting in over the top by Kane, but Roy Carroll was out quick and made a top stop with his legs to come out on top in the battle of the debutants.

Shortly after, Conor Keeley looked to mark his Showgrounds debut with a goal when he drove forward with the ball and had a pop, and despite his effort always going wide, it wasn't a million miles from goal.

Shortly after, Conor Keeley looked to mark his Showgrounds debut with a goal when he drove forward with the ball and had a pop, and despite his effort always going wide, it wasn't a million miles from goal.

United continued to try and take advantage of their bright spell and Trai Hume did well to stand a cross up to the back post for Ross Redman, but under a lot of pressure he headed wide, as a fairly quiet and extremely cold half ended scoreless.

It was a pretty actionless start to the second half as well for both sides, with two refereeing decisions the pick of the opening 15 minutes. First, McElroy pounced on the ball after Dougie Wilson was hesitant, and as McElroy looked to go through Wilson, already on a yellow, brought him down. A free kick was awarded, but much to the disbelief of the Ballymena players, no red was shown. Minutes later, McCartan looked to have been brought down in the box by Byers and despite McCartan's adamant claims he was fouled, referee Christopher Morrison said no penalty.

A stop-start game began to develop as both teams unsurprisingly struggled in what was now almost monsoon like rain and strong winds. United turned to McGrory and Ryan Waide from the bench to try and get things going, but it was Dungannon who were next to go close when a corner routine saw Caolan McAleer peel off from the pack and shoot wide.

As the game entered its final 15 minutes Kofi Balmer flicked a half chance wide before Josh Kelly was denied by a truly wonderful Carroll save. From around 20 yards Kelly let fly with a sweetly struck shot first time effort that was destined to go in, before Carroll produced an incredible one handed save to put the ball wide.

That save would prove vital for the away side who took the lead on 81 minutes. From a free kick Jordan Williamson parried it out, before a spot of pinball saw Mayse denied first by Balmer and then by Glendinning, but the ball dropped kindly for Rhyss Campbell who fired home.

Match report written by Philip McPeake

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Linfield 15 11 1 3 41 18 23 34
2. Larne 15 9 4 2 27 13 14 31
3. Crusaders 16 9 3 4 33 18 15 30
4. Coleraine 15 8 2 5 24 18 6 26
5. Ballymena United 14 7 2 5 21 14 7 23
6. Cliftonville 16 6 4 6 25 22 3 22
7. Glentoran 14 4 6 4 22 14 8 18
8. Warrenpoint Town 14 4 3 7 13 24 -11 15
9. Glenavon 13 3 5 5 19 23 -4 14
10. Dungannon Swifts 14 3 2 9 9 30 -21 11
11. Portadown 13 2 3 8 13 31 -18 9
12. Carrick Rangers 11 1 1 9 7 29 -22 4
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