Glentoran 0 - 2 Ballymena United

League - NIFL Premiership
Tuesday, March 9th, 2021, 7:45 PM at The Oval
Referee: Raymond Crangle
Glentoran Ballymena United

None. Tony Kane (36)
Ross Redman (62)

Team Managers
Mick McDermott David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
Dayle Coleing
Marcus Kane
Luke McCullough
Chris Gallagher
Rory Donnelly
Patrick McClean
Conor McMenamin
Caolan Marron
Hrvoje Plum
Rhys Marshall
Jay Donnelly
Jordan Williamson
Conor Keeley
Jim Ervin
Ross Redman
Tony Kane
Trai Hume
James Knowles
Sean Graham
Joseph McCready
Paul McElroy
Ryan Waide

Gael Bigirimana
Jamie McDonagh
Dale Gorman
Robbie McDaid
Cameron Stewart
Rory Brown
Ciaran O'Connor
Ross Glendinning
Joshua Kelly
Andrew McGrory
Ben Wylie
Jude Winchester
Spencer Beattie
Shay McCartan

Ciaran O'Connor for Caolan Marron (56)
Robbie McDaid for Chris Gallagher (64)
Dale Gorman for Hrvoje Plum (82)
Jude Winchester for James Knowles (65)
Joshua Kelly for Tony Kane (86)

Jay Donnelly (48)
Hrvoje Plum (68)
Dale Gorman (85)
Ross Redman (39)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Jordan Williamson (GK) 30 apps -
Trai Hume 21 apps1 goal
Ross Redman 22 apps2 goals
Tony Kane 351 apps49 goals
Conor Keeley 9 apps -
Jim Ervin 259 apps3 goals
Sean Graham 5 apps -
James Knowles 51 apps6 goals
Joseph McCready 19 apps2 goals
Paul McElroy 22 apps7 goals
Ryan Waide 19 apps -
Joshua Kelly (sub) 52 apps3 goals
Jude Winchester (sub) 80 apps10 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Trai Hume (18 years 361 days)
Oldest Player:Jim Ervin (35 years 286 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 311 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Ben Wylie (18 years 258 days)
Oldest Player:Jim Ervin (35 years 286 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 346 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

BALLYMENA United put in one of their performances of the season to defeat Glentoran 2-0 at The Oval on Tuesday evening.

Ballymena mixed things up for the trip to East Belfast with five changes to the starting XI, including starts for Jim Ervin and James Knowles against his former club.

In a damp and blustery capital, the much changed United side started well against their full time opponents. Glentoran threatened as expected and Jay Donnelly struck high and wide early on, but a good deal of the play was in the Glens' half. Ross Redman caused his old team a problem with a free kick onto the penalty spot which was pin-balled about before being cleared.

After the Braidmen's bright opening twenty minutes, Glentoran took a foothold in the game and cranked up the pressure on United, who stood firm. Conor McMenamin called Jordan Williamson into his first piece of action with a well hit strike from 25 yards, but Williamson was equal to it with a fine diving save to tip it over. Not long after a McMenamin cross deflected off Trai Hume and had Williamson scrambling, with the ball looping just wide.

Williamson was alert to deny McMenamin again with his feet at his near post, but as Ballymena saw out a difficult ten minutes, they came again themselves and took the lead in style. After the hosts had just about avoided an own goal by putting the ball narrowly over the crossbar, Tony Kane took the resulting corner which went through everyone, including the Glens 'keeper to go directly in at the far post.

It prompted a strong final ten minutes in the half for David Jeffrey's side who were playing with the strengthening wind. Knowles tried his luck from a long way out, with his well struck effort almost creeping in. In added time Conor Keeley headed a corner back across goal, with Dayle Coleing just about stopping the ball deflecting into the net, as a fantastic opening forty-five minutes from the Sky Blues saw them lead at the break.

With Glentoran in a rich vein of winning form, United may have expected a second half onslaught, but it didn't come as Ballymena continued to impress all over the park. Joe McCready playing one of the starring roles and tested Coleing early on in the half, but it was easily saved.

Glentoran were no doubt seeing more of the ball, but Ballymena's outstanding back line prevented many chances and on sixty two minutes it was Ballymena who grabbed a second. Again it came from a Kane corner, but this time it was Kane's cross which was flicked on at the near post, before Redman popped up to bundle the ball home from close range.

Glentoran could've and maybe should've halved the deficit when Ruaidhri Donnelly picked out McMenamin in the six yard box, but he could only head wide. With Glens' chances still at a premium, the away side could've settled it when sub Jude Winchester played in Paul McElroy who raced in on goal, but under pressure from two Glenmen he struck his shot millimetres wide.

Glentoran had half chances late on with Ciaran O'Connor striking wide, Robbie McDaid doing similar and then Dale Gorman firing straight at Williamson, but in the end Ballymena comfortably saw the game out for a huge three points and a massive all round performance for ninety minutes.

Match report written by Philip McPeake

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Linfield 23 15 3 5 54 25 29 48
2. Coleraine 22 13 4 5 35 22 13 43
3. Crusaders 23 12 3 8 43 28 15 39
4. Larne 22 10 7 5 35 23 12 37
5. Glentoran 21 10 6 5 36 18 18 36
6. Cliftonville 24 10 6 8 34 28 6 36
7. Ballymena United 22 9 4 9 30 24 6 31
8. Glenavon 21 8 7 6 33 35 -2 31
9. Warrenpoint Town 21 6 5 10 22 37 -15 23
10. Portadown 21 3 6 12 24 45 -21 15
11. Carrick Rangers 21 3 4 14 19 48 -29 13
12. Dungannon Swifts 21 3 3 15 14 46 -32 12
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