Cliftonville 3
Ballymena United 2
League (NIFL Premiership)


3 - 2

Ballymena United

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
Attendance: 1,256
3:00 PM Kick-off

Joe Gormley (6) (pen.)
Christopher Curran (39)
Jay Donnelly (84)
Ryan Mayse (3)
Conor Quigley (67)

Team Managers
Barry Gray David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
1. Richard Brush
2. Jaimie McGovern
3. Levi Ives
5. Garry Breen
6. Jamie Harney
7. Christopher Curran
9. Ryan Curran
14. Conor McDonald
17. Ryan Catney
19. Joe Gormley
21. Jay Donnelly
Ross Glendinning .1
Conor Quigley .3
Jonathan Addis .4
Kofi Balmer .19
Jim Ervin .21
Reece Glendinning .24
James Knowles .10
Jude Winchester .20
William Faulkner .12
Ryan Mayse .6
Cathair Friel .9

13. Brian Neeson
10. Stephen Garrett
18. Caoimhin McConnell
22. Ross Lavery
23. Thomas Maguire
24. Conor McMenamin
25. Aaron Donnelly
Thomas McDermott .18
Scot Whiteside .5
Andrew McGrory .17
Leroy Millar .23
Connor Farrelly .28
Jonathan McMurray .27
Adam Lecky .22

Conor McMenamin for Jamie Harney (46)
Stephen Garrett for Ryan Curran (77)
Jonathan McMurray for William Faulkner (60)
Leroy Millar for James Knowles (66)
Andrew McGrory for Cathair Friel (77)

Jamie Harney (3)
Jay Donnelly (86)
Garry Breen (87)
Christopher Curran (90)
Kofi Balmer (59)
Jonathan McMurray (93)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Jamie Robinson (Referee)
Andrew Nethery & Ryan Kelsey (Assistants)
Christopher Morrison (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Ballymena United conceded a late goal as they fell to a narrow defeat at Cliftonville on Saturday afternoon.

The game at Solitude was United's first match in three weeks and it could not have got off to a better start, going ahead after only 3 minutes. Jay Donnelly gave the ball away inside his own box to Ryan Mayse before Garry Breen played a poor back pass to his 'keeper. In Richard Brush's attempts to clear the ball his clearance came back off Ryan Mayse and into the goal in front of Ballymena's large travelling support, in a goal that wasn't pretty, but certainly effective.

The Braidmen's lead lasted less than 2 minutes as Cliftonville levelled in a frantic start to the game. Ryan Curran was clipped by Conor Quigley just inside the box and from the spot Joe Gormley made no mistake sending the ball straight down the middle.

The fixture settled down following the early drama with not much to split either side. At one end Jamie Harney headed a corner over whilst at the other Jude Winchester struck just wide of the post at his old stumping ground. Mayse had the beating of The Reds' defence for pace and he used it to latch onto a long throw to race clear, before putting his effort from a one on one situation just wide.

Shortly after the chance from Mayse, Cathair Friel did well to win the ball back before attempting an ambitious half volley from outside the box which dipped just over. On the half hour mark Mayse raced clear again in a carbon copy of his earlier chance. This time Mayse hit the target but was denied by a terrific one handed save from Brush and Willie Faulkner just couldn't quite reach the rebound.

Kofi Balmer was dispossessed in his own half before Gormley's first time effort was brilliantly saved round the post by Ross Glendinning. The resulting corner cleared the box but from the second ball in Ryan Curran turned the ball over at the back post from close range.

With The Reds probing they took the lead for the first time on 39 minutes. Captain Chris Curran was given the freedom of Solitude to run from just inside the Ballymena half before neatly slotting past Glendinning for 2-1.

In added time James Knowles had a 25 yard free kick to try and equalise from but his tame effort was gathered as the half ended 2-1.

Cliftonville picked up in the second half where they left off in the first and within 5 minutes had struck the woodwork. Substitute Conor McMenamin played in a low cross to the near post for Ryan Curran who saw his effort come back off the post. Ballymena's first meaningful attack of the half ended with a strike from Winchester being blocked by Ryan Catney on route to the target. With Ballymena finding their feet in the half sub Johnny McMurray was denied by a fine Brush save after a deep cross from Reece Glendinning.

After a bit of a lull around the hour mark Ballymena grabbed an equaliser on 67 minutes. From very little Mayse displayed nice footwork to get into a crossing position and he found the unlikely head of Conor Quigley in the box, with the full back heading home his first Ballymena goal for 2-2.

With a quarter of an hour left it was hard to tell which side would go on and grab the winner. Conor McDonald showed good strength to get a shot away but was thwarted by a good Glendinning save, while for Ballymena Friel ended a good move between him, Mayse and McMurray by firing wide.

With just 5 minutes left the hosts found a winner. Substitute Stephen Garrett had time to send a cross into the box and it was met at the back post by Jay Donnelly who rose highest to head home.

Ballymena struggled to threaten in the dying seconds and came away with a 3-2 defeat in a close game.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at September 22nd, 2018)

2018-2019 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)25 6 - 78 -
Conor Quigley20 21151
Reece Glendinning23 3131
Kofi Balmer18 3 - 343
Jim Ervin33 3 - 1802
Jonathan Addis25 7171
Jude Winchester25 6 - 6 -
William Faulkner28 6111212
James Knowles25 6262
Ryan Mayse24 7373
Cathair Friel25 339343
Leroy Millar (sub)23 429610
Andrew McGrory (sub)26 5 - 5 -
Jonathan McMurray (sub)24 417028

League Table (as at September 22nd, 2018)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 8 5 3 0 18
2. Glenavon 7 5 1 1 16
3. Glentoran 7 4 2 1 14
4. Coleraine 7 3 4 0 13
5. Cliftonville 8 3 2 3 11
6. BALLYMENA UTD 6 3 1 2 10
7. Crusaders 7 3 1 3 10
8. Institute 8 2 2 4 8
9. Newry 8 2 1 5 7
10. Ards 7 1 3 3 6
11. Warrenpoint Town 8 1 1 6 4
12. Dungannon 7 0 3 4 3