Ballymena United 2
Glenavon 1
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
2 - 1

League (NIFL Premiership)
Friday, November 2nd, 2018
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,346
7:45 PM Kick-off

Andrew McGrory (8)
Jonathan McMurray (90)
Mark Sykes (72)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Gary Hamilton

Starting Eleven
1. Ross Glendinning
4. Jonathan Addis
5. Scot Whiteside
21. Jim Ervin
11. Steven McCullough
17. Andrew McGrory
23. Leroy Millar
10. James Knowles
12. William Faulkner
9. Cathair Friel
22. Adam Lecky
Jonathan Tuffey .1
Dylan King .3
Caolan Marron .4
Joshua Daniels .7
Rhys Marshall .8
Andrew Mitchell .9
Mark Sykes .10
Andrew Hall .11
Stephen Murray .24
James Singleton .27
Ben Doherty .31

25. Ben McCauley
24. Reece Glendinning
2. Tony Kane
20. Jude Winchester
27. Jonathan McMurray
30. Umar Basit
15. Francis Nolan
Niall Grace .6
Stephen Donnelly .12
Aaron Harmon .15
Sammy Clingan .16
Conor McCloskey .20
Gary Muir .23
Jordan Jenkins .30

Jude Winchester for William Faulkner (73)
Tony Kane for James Knowles (76)
Jonathan McMurray for Cathair Friel (83)
Conor McCloskey for Andrew Hall (62)
Jordan Jenkins for Andrew Mitchell (80)

Steven McCullough (84)
Dylan King (80)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Andrew Davey (Referee)
Stephen Donaldson & Adrian Sobieski (Assistants)
Shane Andrews (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Johnny McMurray scored in added time to give Ballymena United a dramatic 2-1 win over league leaders Glenavon.

In the Friday Night Football at The Showgrounds, live on the BBC, it was third against first in awful weather conditions. Prior to kick off a moments silence was held as an Act of Remembrance, with David Jeffrey and Gary Hamilton laying wreaths at the halfway line.

The first chance fell the way of table topping Glenavon, with Rhys Marshall picking out Andy Hall, but Ross Glendinning did well to make the save.

With 8 minutes played Ballymena broke the deadlock with Andrew McGrory finding the net against his former side. Adam Lecky found Cathair Friel and his cross from the by-line was headed at the back post by Willie Faulkner onto McGrory, who found the bottom corner, unmarked from 6 yards out.

Glenavon looked to hit back quickly and Dylan King had a header punched clear on the line by Glendinning, before United began to take control of the game. Friel picked the ball up on the left and cut inside before his low curling effort deflected just wide. Lecky, well renowned for his box of tricks, pulled out a delightful scorpion kick to find Faulkner, who in turn displayed a nice piece of skill to create a chance, but it was snuffed out on the line.

Glenavon were struggling to create the chances that Ballymena were, with a long range free kick drilled straight at Glendinning from Hall the closest they came in the opening half hour. With the conditions worsening it made life difficult for both sides to get anything going, but it was still Ballymena edging the play. A sharp turn from Stephen Murray allowed the Lurgan Blues' man a chance to get a shot away, but it deflected narrowly wide. Ballymena had a good chance to make it 2-0 towards the end of the half. James Knowles did well to break up play and find Friel who slid in Lecky. Baring down on goal Lecky opted to take a touch instead of hitting it first time and somehow the chance went as the half finished 1-0.

The second period got a while to get going, with both sides slightly off it for the opening 10 minutes. The first effort of the half fell to Leroy Millar. Faulkner did well to hurdle two tackles on the wing before his cross was narrowly turned over by Millar. Moments later Faulkner had a chance of his own, but it was easily gathered by Tuffey before the former Northern Ireland international shot stopper was on hand again to deny Friel who'd got through one on one.

From the hour mark Glenavon began to look slightly the better side. Ex-United man Conor McCloskey returned to Warden Street for the first time and straight away he played in Mark Sykes, who blasted over from a good position. Sykes then turned provider when his cross wasn't dealt with by Steven McCullough, but with time on the ball Murray put the ball over.

On 73 minutes, with the Sky Blues temporarily down to 10 men as Faulkner went off injured, Glenavon equalised. United couldn't quite clear the lines and Marshall found Sykes with a neat touch before Mark Sykes levelled the scores with a tidy finish from just inside the box.

The final 15 minutes were end to end as both sides looked for a winner. McCloskey dragged an effort wide from the edge of the box before a big chance for Ballymena with 5 minutes left. McMurray replaced Friel to mark his return from injury and was involved straight away, running through on goal before squaring it for Lecky, but his goal bound shot was importantly blocked by Caolan Marron.

However there was to be late drama in front of the cameras as super sub McMurray netted in the 90th minute. Ballymena did well to keep the ball alive before other subs Jude Winchester and Tony Kane linked up for the latter to cross for Jonathan McMurray, and unmarked he squeezed a header past Tuffey to send the home stand into a frenzy.

Glenavon still looked to add to the drama and King sent a ball from a corner just wide, but The Braidmen held out for a huge win to extend the unbeaten run to 8 games.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at November 2nd, 2018)

2018-2019 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)25 16 - 88 -
Jonathan Addis26 141141
Scot Whiteside21 13 - 13 -
Steven McCullough24 131532
Jim Ervin33 10 - 1872
William Faulkner28 12211813
Leroy Millar23 14410612
Andrew McGrory26 144144
James Knowles25 134134
Adam Lecky27 134134
Cathair Friel25 12710247
Tony Kane (sub)31 13329144
Jude Winchester (sub)25 111111
Jonathan McMurray (sub)24 927529

League Table (as at November 2nd, 2018)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Glenavon 13 10 1 2 31
2. Linfield 13 9 3 1 30
3. BALLYMENA UTD 13 7 3 3 24
4. Crusaders 14 7 1 6 22
5. Cliftonville 12 6 2 4 20
6. Glentoran 12 5 3 4 18
7. Coleraine 12 4 6 2 18
8. Institute 13 5 2 6 17
9. Warrenpoint Town 13 3 2 8 11
10. Ards 13 2 3 8 9
11. Newry 14 2 2 10 8
12. Dungannon 12 1 4 7 7