Ballymena United 2 - 0 Warrenpoint Town

League - NIFL Premiership
Saturday, August 9th, 2014, 3:00 PM at Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 606
Referee: Colin Burns
Ballymena United  Warrenpoint Town

David Cushley (15)
Neal Gawley (52)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Barry Gray

Starting Eleven
Dwayne Nelson
Jonathan Taylor
Kyle McVey
Mark McCullagh
Stephen McBride
Alan Davidson
Alan Teggart
Allan Jenkins
Neal Gawley
David Cushley
Matthew Tipton
Jonathan Parr
Darren King
Liam Bagnall
Dermot McVeigh
Stephen Moan
John Boyle
Stephen McDonnell
Martin Havern
Stephen McCabe
Ciaran Gargan
Daniel Hughes

David Munster
Mark Surgenor
Michael Ruddy
Gavin Taggart
Darren Henderson
Jonathan Cowan
Padraig Smith
Ruairi Devlin
Patrick Mooney
Timmy Grant

Darren Henderson for Neal Gawley (74)
Gavin Taggart for Alan Davidson (74)
Mark Surgenor for Alan Teggart (80)
Jonathan Cowan for Dermot McVeigh (74)
Padraig Smith for Stephen McDonnell (74)
Ruairi Devlin for Martin Havern (74)

None. Ciaran Gargan (20)
Stephen Moan (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dwayne Nelson (GK) 178 apps -
Jonathan Taylor 71 apps7 goals
Stephen McBride 22 apps -
Mark McCullagh 44 apps -
Kyle McVey 2 apps -
Allan Jenkins 118 apps20 goals
Alan Teggart 123 apps23 goals
Alan Davidson 68 apps10 goals
Neal Gawley 13 apps2 goals
Matthew Tipton 2 apps -
David Cushley 164 apps39 goals
Mark Surgenor (sub) 160 apps17 goals
Gavin Taggart (sub) 145 apps5 goals
Darren Henderson (sub) 17 apps7 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:David Cushley (25 years 24 days)
Oldest Player:Matthew Tipton (34 years 49 days)
Average Player Age:28 years 315 days
Domestic Players:8 (72.73 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Michael Ruddy (21 years 9 days)
Oldest Player:David Munster (35 years 175 days)
Average Player Age:28 years 296 days
Domestic Players:13 (81.25 % of matchday squad)

BALLYMENA United got off to a winning start in the new league campaign, defeating Warrenpoint Town 2-0 courtesy of superb efforts from David Cushley and Neal Gawley either side of half time.

United started brightly with David Cushley going close with just six minutes on the clock. Minutes later, Johnny Taylor fired over a half volley from Neal Gawley's corner as the hosts put visitors Warrenpoint under early pressure.

The Sky Blues continued to press and deservedly took the lead on 16 minutes. David Cushley collected the ball in a seemingly non-threatening position in midfield, before unleashing an unstoppable long range effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jonathan Parr. Cushley should have doubled his side's advantage six minutes later but skewed a glorious effort wide of goal after displaying great acceleration to race onto a through ball from Mark McCullagh.

Alan Teggert and debutant Kyle McVey both went close for United before Warrenpoint finally threatened. Striker Daniel Hughes shrugged off the challenge of defender Johnny Taylor to unleash a powerful effort on goal from the edge of the box, but United goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson was on hand to hold comfortably. Stephen McCabe had a further effort denied for Warrenpoint on the stroke of half time, after Alan Davidson had almost made it two for United thanks to some clever link up play with David Cushley.

Both sides traded chances early in the second half with first Matthew Tipton and then Mark Hughes going close before Neal Gawley effectively killed the game with a stunning effort on 53 minutes. Stephen McBride's cross from the left was controlled in midfield by the winger, who knocked the ball onto his left foot and unleashed a powerful, low effort into the corner of the goal amidst rapturous applause from the home crowd.

Matthew Tipton almost made it three on the hour mark, but Jonathan Parr was equal to his effort from inside the six yard box. Dwayne Nelson pulled off a stunning save from Stephen McCabe on 62 minutes to protect his clean sheet, denying Warrenpoint's best opportunity to get back into the game in the process. Tipton went close yet again for United in the closing stages, as did Mark Hughes for Warrenpoint but in the end the home defence held out to record a clean sheet and claim a most welcome opening day three points.

Match report written by Jordan Miller

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