Ballymena United 1 - 0 Larne

Ulster Cup - Group Stage
Tuesday, September 3rd, 2002, 7:30 PM at Ballymena Showgrounds
Referee: Stephen Weatherall (Belfast)
Ballymena United  Larne

Goalscorers
Shea Campbell (57)
None.

Team Managers
Kenny Shiels
Tommy Kincaid

Starting Eleven
David Henry
Alfie Stewart
David McAlinden
Nigel Boyd
Paul Byrne
Joe Gray
Oran Kearney
Trevor McLernon
Trevor McMullan
Gareth McLaughlin
Shea Campbell
Andy McDonald
Owen Montague
Emmanuel Maxwell
David Jess
Alan Murphy
Gareth Murray
Robert Moore
Scott Cowie
Mark Craig
Neil Candlish
John Kerr

Substitutes
Mark Carlisle
Richard Culbertson
Peter Withnell
Gareth Walsh
Scott Drummond
Phil McDonagh

Substitutions
Richard Culbertson for Nigel Boyd (42)
Peter Withnell for Gareth McLaughlin (56)
Mark Carlisle for Alfie Stewart (76)
Gareth Walsh for Owen Montague (70)
Scott Drummond for Mark Craig (82)

Bookings
None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
David Henry (GK) 4 apps -
Alfie Stewart 5 apps1 goal
Nigel Boyd 248 apps20 goals
David McAlinden 40 apps3 goals
Paul Byrne 23 apps2 goals
Trevor McLernon 47 apps7 goals
Joe Gray 4 apps -
Trevor McMullan 49 apps7 goals
Oran Kearney 5 apps1 goal
Gareth McLaughlin 12 apps2 goals
Shea Campbell 59 apps21 goals
Mark Carlisle (sub) 404 apps2 goals
Richard Culbertson (sub) 33 apps3 goals
Peter Withnell (sub) 34 apps18 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Gareth McLaughlin (18 years 41 days)
Oldest Player:Paul Byrne (38 years 163 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 231 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Gareth McLaughlin (18 years 41 days)
Oldest Player:Paul Byrne (38 years 163 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 144 days
Domestic Players:14 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

A sure sign of a good side is one that can grind out important results even when they don't play to the best of their ability. United are starting to develop into such a side if this win over Larne is anything to go by.

Anyone expecting another goal avalanche following last Monday's annihilation of Institute was sorely disappointed. Instead the game developed into a dour midfield battle with neither side seemingly capable of grabbing the upper hand.

United might have opened the scoring after five minutes when Trevor McLernon fired just over the bar while Larne themselves threatened on 21 minutes when John Kerr failed to finish when well placed.

Former United favourite Neil Candlish came close for the visitors on 30 minutes with a curling left foot effort which fortunately sailed just past the upright.

Then, just before half-time, Ricky Culbertson almost broke the deadlock with a 40-yard lob which forced Larne 'keeper Andy McDonald to backpedal to scramble over the bar.

However, on 57 minutes, United moved ahead. A mistake by Larne defender David Jess in failing to block a through ball allowed Shea Campbell in to direct the ball past McDonald and into the corner of the net.

McLernon might have added a second ten minutes from time with a free-kick from the edge of the area awarded for a foul on Oran Kearney only for the set piece to whizz wide.

Soon after Campbell wasted a glorious chance to double his tally when Culbertson floated over a cross but this time the 21-year-old could only offer a weak header which never really threatened.

This win lifts United back into contention for the Ulster Cup with a crucial game away to second-placed Bangor coming up on Saturday.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

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