Ballymena United 0
Linfield 1
League (NIFL Premiership)


Ballymena United
0 - 1
Linfield 

League (NIFL Premiership)
Friday, April 5th, 2019
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 2,482
7:45 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
None. Andrew Waterworth (46)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
David Healy

Starting Eleven
1. Ross Glendinning
5. Scot Whiteside
4. Jonathan Addis
11. Steven McCullough
19. Kofi Balmer
21. Jim Ervin
23. Leroy Millar
20. Jude Winchester
17. Andrew McGrory
22. Adam Lecky
27. Jonathan McMurray
Gareth Deane .35
Joshua Robinson .4
Jimmy Callacher .6
Andrew Waterworth .7
Joel Cooper .9
Jordan Stewart .10
Daniel Kearns .17
Jamie Mulgrew .22
Andrew Mitchell .27
Niall Quinn .31
Chris Casement .47

Bench
31. Jordan Williamson
3. Conor Quigley
2. Tony Kane
32. Albert Watson
6. Ryan Mayse
7. Shane McGinty
16. Matthew Shevlin
Conor Mitchell .25
Mark Stafford .2
Kirk Millar .12
Matthew Clarke .16
Stephen Fallon .20
Ryan McGivern .23
Marek Cervenka .29

Substitutions
Tony Kane for Jude Winchester (63)
Ryan Mayse for Scot Whiteside (63)
Kirk Millar for Joel Cooper (78)
Matthew Clarke for Jordan Stewart (83)
Stephen Fallon for Daniel Kearns (90)

Cautions
Jonathan Addis (77)
Jim Ervin (90)
Daniel Kearns (90)
Gareth Deane (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Andrew Davey (Referee)
David Anderson & Adam Jeffrey (Assistants)
Tony Clarke (Fourth Official)


Match Report


Ballymena United fell to a narrow 1-0 league defeat at the hands of league leaders Linfield thanks to an early second half goal from Andrew Waterworth.

As first took on second for the sixth time this season, United made four changes to the side that suffered defeat to Warrenpoint almost a fortnight ago.

With the cameras rolling both sides made a frantic start to the game in an entertaining first half. Inside the opening minute Johnny McMurray did well to create a chance for himself, but his effort caused little problems for Gareth Deane in the Linfield goal. On 5 minutes came a huge chance for the Sky Blues. Andy McGrory played in McMurray who put the ball across the box for Adam Lecky, but under pressure the forward blasted the ball over the crossbar.

The first chance for the league leaders came shortly afterwards. Chris Casement put a cross into a dangerous position for Daniel Kearns, but Kofi Balmer did well to put Kearns off as he put the ball wide. From there, Ballymena dominated for most of the half, in a performance mirroring the second half of the League Cup final. Jonny Addis did well to pick out McMurray in the box, but he could only glance his header wide.

Linfield did well to weather the United storm when six straight corners came and went for the hosts. In the second of those corners Balmer rattled the underside of the bar with a thumping shot, with the goalbound rebound from Jude Winchester well blocked by Jimmy Callacher. A save out of the top drawer from Deane kept the scores level on 34 minutes. McMurray was fouled 25 yards from goal, with McGrory's free kick heading for the top corner before Deane pulled off a stunning one handed save. In the closing stages of the half The Blues got back into the game with Ross Glendinning saving a free header from Callacher before the 'keeper did well to claw away a header towards his own goal by Lecky, as a bright half ended goalless.

For all of the Braidmen's good football for the majority of the first half, the second half got off to an awful start as Linfield broke the deadlock within 45 seconds. Joel Cooper got past Balmer with ease on the left hand side before finding Andrew Waterworth, who buried his shot across Glendinning and into the bottom corner.

9 minutes after the opener Ballymena let another big chance get away from them. Lecky stayed onside to get on the end of a pass from Leroy Millar, who did well on the left. The striker squared the ball for the onrushing McGrory, but one on one he fired his shot straight at Deane who made the save. With the next goal in the game vital if there was to be one, Callacher strode forward from the back unchallenged, with the centre half having a go himself from distance, only for Glendinning to tip his effort round the post.

On 62 minutes United were forced into a change as Winchester picked up an injury, and was replaced by Tony Kane. The second half wasn't quite living up the first with both teams resorted to the odd half chance in a stop-start half as the final 45 progressed. At one end Waterworth turned Addis but his shot was easy work for Glendinning. At the other end, a nice aerial one two between McGrory and McMurray ended with the latter getting something on a shot while off balance, but the ball ended up in the grateful hands of Deane.

After another free header for Callacher at the back post went just over, the last 10 minutes saw the game rather die out as tempers spilled over on a few occasions before and after the final whistle.

In the fourth of five minutes added on Millar stung the palms of Deane with a long range strike, but it was the only time United threatened late on as Linfield comfortably saw out the game to go 12 points clear with just 4 games left.

Match report written by Paul Irwin (www.ballymenaunitedfc.com)



Squad Statistics (as at April 5th, 2019)


2018-2019 All Time
Age
Ross Glendinning (GK)25 35 - 107 -
Steven McCullough24 394795
Jim Ervin33 3712143
Scot Whiteside21 30 - 30 -
Jonathan Addis26 393393
Kofi Balmer18 281594
Andrew McGrory27 329329
Jude Winchester25 355355
Leroy Millar23 36912817
Jonathan McMurray24 2839430
Adam Lecky27 40164016
Tony Kane (sub)31 36531446
Ryan Mayse (sub)25 287287



League Table (as at April 5th, 2019)


Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 34 25 5 4 80
2. BALLYMENA UTD 34 21 5 8 68
3. Crusaders 33 20 4 9 64
4. Glenavon 33 17 9 7 60
5. Cliftonville 33 17 3 13 54
6. Coleraine 33 14 9 10 51
7. Glentoran 33 10 8 15 38
8. Institute 33 11 5 17 38
9. Dungannon Swifts 33 9 9 15 36
10. Warrenpoint Town 33 9 7 17 34
11. Newry 34 5 5 24 20
12. Ards 34 4 7 23 19