Ballymena United 1
Glentoran 2
League (NIFL Premiership)


Ballymena United
1 - 2
Glentoran 

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, August 24th, 2019
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,727
3:00 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Andrew McGrory (50)
Robbie McDaid (84)
Robbie McDaid (90)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Mick McDermott

Starting Eleven
1. Ross Glendinning
21. Jim Ervin
4. Jonathan Addis
19. Kofi Balmer
11. Steven McCullough
17. Andrew McGrory
23. Leroy Millar
20. Jude Winchester
8. Ryan Harpur
16. Declan Carville
9. Cathair Friel
Marijan Antolovic .30
Marcus Kane .3
Gavin Peers .4
John Herron .8
Curtis Allen .9
Robbie McDaid .10
Patrick McClean .15
Connor Pepper .16
Joe Crowe .21
Paul O'Neill .26
Hrvoke Plum .27

Bench
31. Jordan Williamson
14. Andrew Burns
2. Tony Kane
28. Ross Lavery
6. Ryan Mayse
7. Shane McGinty
26. Joshua Kelly
Elliott Morris .1
Calum Birney .5
Christopher Gallagher .6
Jonathan Frazer .7
Thomas Byrne .17
Steven Gordon .22
Elvio Van Overbeek .33

Substitutions
Ryan Mayse for Declan Carville (87)
Shane McGinty for Ryan Harpur (87)
Elvio Van Overbeek for Paul O'Neill (67)
Jonathan Frazer for Curtis Allen (67)
Calum Birney for Patrick McClean (80)

Cautions
Ryan Harpur (60)
Marcus Kane (76)
Connor Pepper (90)

Red Cards
Tony Kane (90)
None.
Match Officials

Andrew Davey (Referee)
Stephen Donaldson & Mark O'Brien (Assistants)
Tony Clarke (Fourth Official)


Match Report


Two late goals saw Ballymena United suffer their first defeat of the season after a 2-1 defeat to Glentoran in an ill-tempered affair at the Showgrounds.

After picking up four points from six in their opening two away games, United returned home for the first time this season and made one change from last week's win at Larne as Kofi Balmer replaced Andrew Burns.

It was the visitors who made the brighter start as the hosts failed to get out of first gear for much of the opening exchanges. Curtis Allen went close early on when he hooked a cross from Marcus Kane just wide, before Croatian Hrvoje Plum struck the post with a thumping, curling effort from the edge of the box.

It took until the 18th minute Shortly after Glentoran had to rely on Kane at one end, Jonny Addis was there at the other end to save Ballymena in the nick of time to stop Allen from surely scoring from close range. With The Braidmen still not at it, Glentoran continued to threathen as Plum went close again before he crossed for Robbie McDaid, who glanced an effort into the side netting. On 27 minutes The Sky Blues produced probably their best move of the half as Addis set Carville off down the left wing.

Carville did well to keep hold of the ball and find Winchester who tried to curl an effort into the bottom corner, but with no turn on the ball it drifted well wide.for Ballymena to cause any concern in the Glens' penalty area. Andy McGrory made a dangerous run before his ball almost fell to Declan Carville, only for Kane to get there first and half clear, with Jude Winchester putting the follow up over the crossbar.

Shortly after Glentoran had to rely on Kane at one end, Jonny Addis was there at the other end to save Ballymena in the nick of time to stop Allen from surely scoring from close range. With The Braidmen still not at it, Glentoran continued to threathen as Plum went close again before he crossed for Robbie McDaid, who glanced an effort into the side netting. On 27 minutes The Sky Blues produced probably their best move of the half as Addis set Carville off down the left wing. Carville did well to keep hold of the ball and find Winchester who tried to curl an effort into the bottom corner, but with no turn on the ball it drifted well wide.

Two minutes after Winchester's shot Ross Glendinning was called into his first piece of action as he was forced into a good save to deny Paul O'Neill from distance. Glentoran's Plum was looking like the biggest threat for either side and after striking the post earlier in the half, he did so again ten minutes from the break with a free kick from just outside the box. With a minute to go till the break Leroy Millar stung the palms of Marijan Antolovic, but most of the ground missed the chance as events on the touchline gained more of the focus. A disagreement saw most of the management and backroom staff for both sides involved in handbags, and things spilled over again in the tunnel at half-time, with Glens boss Mick McDermott sent to the stands as a result. On the pitch, the half ended goalless.

Ballymena started the second half strongly as they finally began to look like themselves. McGrory let a glorious chance pass him by when he was picked out by Addis, but with no one near him McGrory's header came back off the underside of the bar. That McGrory miss was soon forgotten about two minutes later when McGrory himself broke the deadlock. After United won a free kick, Andrew McGrory took charge and curled a pearler over the wall and into the top corner, well out of Antolovic's reach.

Ballymena kicked on from the opener and went close again when Cathair Friel was fouled, but with Andrew Davey waving on an advantage, Millar forced a save out of Antolovic. In the space of two second half minutes, Addis was involved in action in both boxes. Up first, the former Glens man made an outstanding last ditch challenge on O'Neill after he'd been played through by Allen. Down the other end, a smart corner routine landed at Addis' feet, but he could only blaze the ball over.

Chances were starting to arrive a little more frequently for both sides in the middle of the half. Glendinning saved well to deny Allen from a tight angle, before Carville headed wide for The Sky Blues after Antolovic got caught in no mans land from a free kick. Towards the final ten minutes Friel went close with a couple of chances that could've wrapped the game up. A quick counter attack, started by Jim Ervin, ended with Friel forcing Antolovic into a fine save, and four minutes later Friel dragged an effort wide after good link up play with Carville.

Despite those chances the final ten minutes were almost all Glentoran. Substitute Elvio Van Overbeek hit the frame of Glendinning's goal with a half volley, before Glentoran levelled on 84 minutes. A long ball forward from Gavin Peers was flicked on into the path of Robbie McDaid and under pressure from Ervin he finished well.

Both sides had chances to win it late on. McDaid almost scored a fine winner with a delightful backheel that went just wide, before a counter attack by the hosts ended with sub Shane McGinty firing over.

However there was to be a stoppage time winner as McDaid's second stole the points for Glentoran. John Herron drove forward and found Van Overbeek, and his cross fell to Robbie McDaid who fired home.

The goal sparked celebrations from the Glentoran bench, which caused another flashpoint to marr the end of the game. After numerous confrontations, a member of the Glentoran backroom staff joined McDermott in seeing red, as Glentoran held on for their first win of the season.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (www.ballymenaunitedfc.com)



Squad Statistics (as at August 24th, 2019)


2019-2020 All Time
Age
Ross Glendinning (GK)26 7 - 117 -
Jim Ervin34 6 - 2233
Jonathan Addis26 41464
Steven McCullough24 7 - 905
Kofi Balmer18 7 - 704
Declan Carville29 5 - 5 -
Leroy Millar23 7113819
Ryan Harpur30 6 - 11 -
Jude Winchester26 62417
Andrew McGrory27 524112
Cathair Friel26 7213160
Ryan Mayse (sub)25 4 - 347
Shane McGinty (sub)25 5 - 263



League Table (as at August 24th, 2019)


Pld W D L Pts
1. Crusaders 4 3 1 0 10
2. Dungannon Swifts 4 3 1 0 10
3. Larne 4 2 1 1 7
4. Cliftonville 4 2 1 1 7
5. Coleraine 4 1 3 0 6
6. Glentoran 4 1 2 1 5
7. BALLYMENA UTD 3 1 1 1 4
8. Glenavon 4 1 1 2 4
9. Linfield 2 1 0 1 3
10. Carrick Rangers 4 1 0 3 3
11. Institute 4 0 1 3 1
12. Warrenpoint Town 3 0 0 3 0