Coleraine 1
Ballymena United 0
League (NIFL Premiership)


1 - 0

Ballymena United

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, April 14th, 2018
Coleraine Showgrounds
Attendance: 2,440
3:00 PM Kick-off

Darren McCauley (56) None.

Team Managers
Oran Kearney David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
1. Christopher Johns
2. Lyndon Kane
4. Ciaron Harkin
7. Darren McCauley
10. Eoin Bradley
11. Joshua Carson
13. Gareth McConaghie
15. Stephen O'Donnell
18. Aaron Traynor
19. Jamie McGonigle
22. Stephen Dooley
Ross Glendinning .1
Andrew Burns .14
Jim Ervin .21
Tony Kane .2
Kyle Owens .4
Conor Quigley .28
Stephen McAlorum .8
Francis McCaffrey .24
Kevin Braniff .10
Cathair Friel .9
Matthew Shevlin .16

3. Adam Mullan
5. Steven Douglas
8. Martin Smith
12. Aaron Burns
16. Ian Parkhill
Jonathan Flynn .5
Adam McCracken .29
William Faulkner .12
Leroy Millar .23
Francis Nolan .72

Aaron Burns for Eoin Bradley (64)
Ian Parkhill for Jamie McGonigle (73)
William Faulkner for Francis McCaffrey (64)
Jonathan Flynn for Andrew Burns (64)
Leroy Millar for Kevin Braniff (73)

Eoin Bradley (29)
Lyndon Kane (89)
Matthew Shevlin (42)
Stephen McAlorum (53)
William Faulkner (90)

Red Cards
Joshua Carson (90) None.

Match Officials

Keith Kennedy (Referee)
Stephen Donaldson & George Argyropoulos (Assistants)
Raymond Hetherington (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Ballymena United were defeated 1-0 by title chasing rivals Coleraine at the Coleraine Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon.

Expectedly the home side had more of the ball early on and called Ross Glendinning into action 6 minutes in. Stephen O'Donnell met a corner from Josh Carson but he failed to get a clean contact and Glendinning easily gathered. United first threatened on 7 minutes when the now departing Kyle Owens got on the end of a Tony Kane cross but Chris Johns got down easily to stop it with Matthew Shevlin lurking.

Straight up the other end Glendinning pulled off a terrific save to deny Jamie McGonigle. From a quick counter attack Stephen Dooley released McGonigle one on one with the Sky Blue 'keeper but Glendinning saved extremely well with his leg. The next chance also came the way of the hosts. The dangerous Darren McCauley slipped in Eoin Bradley with his high shot making Glendinning save well again, this time tipping the ball over the bar.

United were by no means being outclassed but it was Coleraine who were creating the chances as McGonigle teed up McCauley, but he blazed the ball wide. On 36 minutes Coleraine almost went ahead. A nice move saw Dooley, Ciaron Harkin and Lyndon Kane linking up before the latter had a low, dangerous drilled ball deflect inches wide. In added time at the end of the first half the returning Kevin Braniff tried his luck from all of 30 yards after finding space but it went well wide as the half ended goalless.

The second period went mostly the way of the first with Coleraine looking the more threatening without really sustaining pressure on the Braidmen's goal. The first effort on either goal came 9 minutes in with O'Donnell again meeting a cross but this time it went high and wide.

The only goal of the game came on 56 minutes. Fra McCaffrey lost the ball in midfield and it was picked up by Darren McCauley who drilled a low shot perfectly into the bottom corner past Glendinning in front the large home support.

With 25 minutes left David Jeffrey made a double change with Johnny Flynn and Willie Faulkner replacing Andrew Burns and McCaffrey respectively. Minutes after the changes a cross from Kane only needed a touch to trouble Johns but Owens couldn't quite reach it and Johns gathered.

Within a minute of United's chance Aaron Traynor picked up on a Flynn mistake and played a neat one-two with McCauley with the latter striking just over. On 77 minutes Traynor had a chance of his own, this time O'Donnell turning provider with Traynor narrowly sending the ball over the bar.

Ballymena came on strong in the final 10 minutes as they looked to severely dent their rivals title hopes. Cathair Friel did well to get to the by-line and his cross was just too high for Shevlin before Faulkner had a shot blocked. As the board went up for 3 minutes of added time most of the away end thought the Sky Blues had levelled as a free kick from Kane looked to have gone in but instead had hit the side netting.

There was more drama to come as Carson received a straight red card for an extremely rash challenge on Faulkner, who was booked for his reaction to the poor tackle. The free kick gave United another chance to get the ball in and Stephen McAlorum had a cross/shot tipped over the bar by Johns. The resulting corner was cleared at the second attempt as Coleraine held on for the win, with Ballymena unfortunate not to level in front a large and loud away support.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at April 14th, 2018)

2017-2018 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)24 40 - 70 -
Andrew Burns25 221221
Jim Ervin32 47 - 1742
Tony Kane30 44827741
Kyle Owens25 3858412
Conor Quigley20 10 - 10 -
Stephen McAlorum31 9 - 9 -
Francis McCaffrey24 281506
Kevin Braniff35 235338
Cathair Friel24 43168839
Matthew Shevlin19 3596814
Jonathan Flynn (sub)28 231594
William Faulkner (sub)28 31110411
Leroy Millar (sub)22 306898

League Table (as at April 14th, 2018)

Pld W D L +/- Pts

* - Table split into two divisions of six.