0 - 2
0 - 2
League (NIFL Premiership)
Joshua Robinson (22)
Gavin Whyte (58)
2. Tony Kane
10. Allan Jenkins
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)
|None.||Colin Coates (90)|
Andrew Davey (Referee)
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
|Stuart Addis (GK)||35||2||-||36||-|
|Brian McCaul (sub)||24||8||-||8||-|
|Darren Henderson (sub)||28||25||5||41||12|