Ballymena United 0 - 8 Cliftonville

League - IFA Premiership
Saturday, November 17th, 2012, 3:00 PM at Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,006
Referee: David Malcolm (Bangor)
Ballymena United  Cliftonville

Goalscorers
None. Stephen Garrett (5)
George McMullan (13)
Liam Boyce (28)
James Knowles (32)
Joe Gormley (46)
Liam Boyce (53)
Diarmuid O'Carroll (61)
Stephen Garrett (83)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Tommy Breslin

Starting Eleven
Dwayne Nelson
Aaron Stewart
David Munster
Ross Black
Tony Kane
Alan Davidson
Alan Teggart
Gary Thompson
David Cushley
James Costello
Neil Lowry
Conor Devlin
Marc Smyth
Ronan Scannell
Jaimie McGovern
Ryan Catney
George McMullan
Martin Donnelly
James Knowles
Stephen Garrett
Liam Boyce
Joe Gormley

Substitutes
Christopher Rodgers
Eoin Gillan
Jamie Fleming
James McCabe
Jamie Davidson
Diarmuid O'Carroll
Barry Johnston
Darren Stuart
Eamonn Seydak
Jody Lynch

Substitutions
Christopher Rodgers for Ross Black (46)
Jamie Davidson for Alan Teggart (46)
James McCabe for Neil Lowry (60)
Diarmuid O'Carroll for Joe Gormley (57)
Barry Johnston for James Knowles (67)
Darren Stuart for Liam Boyce (67)

Bookings
Alan Davidson (38)
David Cushley (45)
George McMullan (42)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dwayne Nelson (GK) 138 apps -
David Munster 49 apps4 goals
Aaron Stewart 153 apps4 goals
Tony Kane 46 apps3 goals
Ross Black 33 apps1 goal
Alan Davidson 20 apps6 goals
Alan Teggart 59 apps12 goals
Gary Thompson 20 apps5 goals
James Costello 39 apps9 goals
David Cushley 99 apps15 goals
Neil Lowry 25 apps2 goals
Christopher Rodgers (sub) 30 apps -
Jamie Davidson (sub) 31 apps6 goals
James McCabe (sub) 15 apps3 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Neil Lowry (19 years 105 days)
Oldest Player:David Munster (33 years 275 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 66 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Jamie Fleming (18 years 155 days)
Oldest Player:David Munster (33 years 275 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 176 days
Domestic Players:15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)

BALLYMENA United succumbed to an eight goal defeat at the hands of league leaders Cliftonville at the Showgrounds on Saturday, the second time the Sky Blues have been on the wrong end of a large scoreline in as many weeks.

With the squad decimated by injuries and suspensions, a defeat to in form Cliftonville was always on the cards, however it was the manner of this defeat which displeased most.

It was United who in fact threatened first, Alan Davidson's long range drive was palmed away to safety by Reds goalkeeper Conor Devlin as early as the first minute. This positive start was unravelled just three minutes later when Stephen Garret saw off Dwayne Nelson's attempts to grab the ball by getting there first and stroking the ball home into the unguarded net.

Ten minutes later is was two, despite Ryan Catney appearing to foul Alan Davidson in the build up to the goal, referee Davy Malcolm waved play on allowing Martin Donnelly to seek out George McMullan who beat Nelson on his near side to double the visitors advantage. Video replays are inconclusive as to whether or not the ball actually crossed the line but in the context of the result it matters little.

Any hopes of a stirring fightback were quickly distinguished on 28 minutes when central defender Marc Smyth was allowed to wonder unchallenged upfield before finding Liam Boyce who coolly slotted past the estranged Dwayne Nelson. The fourth came on 32 minutes when in a sweeping counter attacking move, James Knowles found himself on the end of a Joe Gormley cross to put the game well and truly to bed. Frighteningly for United, the half time whistle was yet to blow.

United did threaten as the half wore on, David Cushley had a long range drive well held by Devlin before Tony Kane's ferocious 30 yard free kick struck the bar. These efforts proved to be in vain as the Cliftonville defence, and in particular the impressive Conor Devlin, held strong.

Cliftonville extended their lead even further on 50 minutes when the tenacious Ryan Catney found Joe Gormley, who let fly a rocket from 25 yards which found it's way into the corner of the net to deserved rapturous applause from the travelling support.

Three minutes later it was six, James Knowles' effort was palmed straight into the path of Liam Boyce by Nelson, who couldn't believe his luck as he tapped home from four yards. The seventh came on 63 minutes, substitute Dairmuid O'Carroll rifling home from the edge of the area after holding off the challenge from United defender Aaron Stewart.

Stephen Garrett compounded a miserable afternoon for the Sky Blues on 83 minutes when O'Carroll squared for the midfielder to slot home his second and his side's eighth of the day.

Match report written by Jordan Miller



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Cliftonville 16 11 3 2 40 16 24 36
2. Crusaders 16 9 2 5 26 15 11 29
3. Ballinamallard United 16 8 4 4 25 15 10 28
4. Coleraine 16 7 7 2 27 20 7 28
5. Glentoran 16 7 6 3 25 15 10 27
6. Ballymena United 16 6 7 3 25 25 0 25
7. Linfield 16 6 4 6 27 22 5 22
8. Portadown 16 5 5 6 23 26 -3 20
9. Glenavon 16 3 5 8 19 27 -8 14
10. Dungannon Swifts 16 2 8 6 17 25 -8 14
11. Donegal Celtic 16 1 5 10 13 36 -23 8
12. (Lisburn) Distillery 16 2 2 12 12 37 -25 8
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