Ballymena United 0
Crusaders 2
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
0 - 2

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, December 13th, 2014
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 876
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Joshua Robinson (22)
Gavin Whyte (58)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Stephen Baxter

Starting Eleven
Stuart Addis
2. Tony Kane
Stephen McBride
David Munster
Mark Surgenor
Jonathan Taylor
Alan Teggart
Matthew Ferguson
Neal Gawley
10. Allan Jenkins
Matthew Tipton
Sean O'Neill
BJ Burns
Colin Coates
Craig McClean
Joshua Robinson
Richard Clarke
Declan Caddell
Paul Heatley
Jordan Owens
Diarmuid O'Carroll
Gavin Whyte

Michael Ruddy
Mark McCullagh
Eoin Kane
Brian McCaul
Darren Henderson
Timmy Adamson
Emmet Friars
Nathan Hanley
Gary McCutcheon
Michael O'Hanlon

Darren Henderson for Matthew Ferguson (59)
Brian McCaul for Neal Gawley (79)
Timmy Adamson for Diarmuid O'Carroll (70)
Emmet Friars for Paul Heatley (90)

Jonathan Taylor (85)
Colin Coates (49)
Craig McClean (63)

Red Cards
None. Colin Coates (90)
Match Officials

Andrew Davey (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United were defeated by two goals to nil by Crusaders at the Showgrounds on Saturday as the club's miserable run of form continued.

The visitors flew out of the traps and almost scored with just three minutes on the clock, fortunately for United Billy Joe Burns' free kick nestled just over the top of the bar. Two minutes later goalkeeper Stuart Addis was forced to pull of a good stop to deny Jordan Owens with a powerful header from Craig McLean's cross. Addis was again called into action on 11 minutes to deny Jordan Owens who was proving a real handful for David Munster and the rest of the United backline.

Ballymena responded with a slick team move that saw Matthew Tipton play in Stephen McBride but the full back's powered shot hit the side netting, a good chance gone begging. This served as a wake up call for the Crues who duly took the lead on 23 minutes, Joshua Robinson scrambling home Richard Clarke's corner after a scramble in the box. United quickly fashioned a half chance in response but Allan Jenkins shot straight at Sean O'Neill in the Crusaders goal after a neat cross from Matthew Tipton.

Allan Jenkins thought he had got United back on level terms on 40 minutes but his drive from just inside the box came crashing back off the woodwork with Sean O'Neill well beaten. Crusaders won a penalty right on the stroke of half time after Stuart Addis was adjudged to have fouled Declan Caddell in the box. Addis recovered to pull of a fine save to deny Diarmuid O'Carroll's effort and ensure his side went into the break with just a one goal deficit.

Alan Teggart and Matthew Ferguson both had efforts denied early in the second half as United went in search of an equaliser but to no avail as on 56 minutes Crusaders effectively wrapped the game up through a neat finish by Gavin Whyte after United failed to clear Craig McLean's cross. Further efforts by Paul Heatley and Declan Caddell tested United's resolve further as Crusaders went in an ultimately fruitless search of a third. Crues captain Colin Coates was sent off deep into injury time for a second bookable offence but it mattered little as Stephen Baxter's side held out to record a deserved victory.

Match report written by Jordan Miller

Squad Statistics (as at December 13th, 2014)

2014-2015 All Time
Stuart Addis (GK)35 2 - 36 -
David Munster35 14 - 1156
Mark Surgenor28 16217519
Tony Kane27 2021308
Jonathan Taylor26 2038910
Stephen McBride31 19 - 39 -
Alan Teggart28 23414427
Allan Jenkins33 23613926
Matthew Ferguson19 4 - 5 -
Neal Gawley28 222333
Matthew Tipton34 27102710
Brian McCaul (sub)24 8 - 8 -
Darren Henderson (sub)28 2554112

League Table (as at December 13th, 2014)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 21 13 4 4 43
2. Cliftonville 21 12 6 3 42
3. Portadown 21 13 3 5 42
4. Crusaders 21 11 6 4 39
5. Glentoran 21 9 6 6 33
6. Glenavon 21 9 3 9 30
7. Coleraine 21 9 3 9 30
8. BALLYMENA UTD 21 6 5 10 23
9. Ballinamallard Utd 21 5 4 12 19
10. Institute 21 4 7 10 19
11. Dungannon Swifts 21 3 7 11 16
12. Warrenpoint Town 21 3 4 14 13