Carrick Rangers 0
Ballymena United 1
League (NIFL Premiership)


0 - 1

Ballymena United

League (NIFL Premiership)
Friday, August 30th, 2019
Taylors Avenue
Attendance: 696
7:45 PM Kick-off

None. Jude Winchester (59)

Team Managers
Niall Currie David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
18. Aaron Hogg
3. Reece Neale
4. Mark Surgenor
5. Christopher Rodgers
7. Lee Chapman
8. William Faulkner
10. Daniel Kelly
11. Stewart Nixon
15. James Ferrin
16. Michael Smith
42. Lloyd Anderson
Ross Glendinning .1
Kofi Balmer .19
Steven McCullough .11
Jim Ervin .21
Jonathan Addis .4
Jude Winchester .20
Ryan Harpur .8
Declan Carville .16
Andrew McGrory .17
Leroy Millar .23
Cathair Friel .9

26. Ben Nicholl
2. Mark Carson
6. Caolan Loughran
14. Daniel Magill
19. Ashton McDermott
25. Dylan Smiley
Jordan Williamson .31
Andrew Burns .14
Shane McGinty .7
Joshua Kelly .26
Ross Lavery .28
Ryan Mayse .6
Aaron Burns .25

Dylan Smiley for Michael Smith (70)
Caolan Loughran for Daniel Kelly (88)
Andrew Burns for Declan Carville (66)
Ross Lavery for Jude Winchester (80)

Lloyd Anderson (68)
James Ferrin (90)
Ryan Harpur (90)

Red Cards
None. Jonathan Addis (63)

Match Officials

Steven Gregg (Referee)
Kristian Hanna & Neil Gillespie (Assistants)
Ken Gibbons (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Ten-man Ballymena United came through a tough examination with a narrow 1-0 victory over Carrick at The Belfast Loughshore Arena on Friday night.

New United signing Aaron Burns went straight into the matchday squas as he started on the bench, with David Jeffrey fielding the same starting XI from the last league outing.

To the game, and it was the hosts who started the better of the two, more so due to Ballymena's sluggish start. In the opening 5 minutes Lee Chapman almost grabbed the opener, only to be denied by a timely block from Ryan Harpur. Ross Glendinning was first worked on 7 minutes when former Sky Blues Willie Faulkner and Stewart Nixon combined, with the latter seeing his effort comfortably saved. Carrick's next chance in the opening exchanges fell to another ex-Braidman in Michael Smith who got the better of Kofi Balmer, but from a tight angle he flashed a shot wide.

It took until the 28th minute for the visiting team to cause any real concern for Carrick, but the first chance that fell was the best of the half. A neat piece of play between Leroy Millar and Andy McGrory ended with the ball farmed out to Steven McCullough whose cross feel to Cathair Friel, but from point blank range he was denied by a wonderful stop via the legs of goalkeeper Aaron Hogg.

10 minutes later Friel worked himself into another shooting opportunity on the edge of the box, but was thwarted by a sliding block from James Ferrin, before The Gers missed their own huge chance at the other end. An inswinging corner from Reece Neale was met by the onrushing Ferrin on the six yard line, but when it looked easier to score his header somehow went just over.

On the half-time whistle Millar had a great opportunity to give The Braidmen a lead when he was picked out at the back post by Friel, but he couldn't keep his header down as a half with little good chances ended scoreless.

In a carbon copy of the first half, Carrick started the second 45 minutes the strongest and if Chapman was a couple of inches taller it would've been 1-0 to the hosts, however he couldn't quite stretch far enough to turn a Nixon ball into an empty net.

With 10 minutes gone in the half Ballymena showed signs of stepping things up when Friel curled an effort just wide, before United broke the deadlock on 59 minutes. A low ball into the six yard box from the by-line via McCullough could've been put home three times as McGrory and Declan Carville both failed to convert, but after a bit of a scramble and Carrick failing to clear their lines, Jude Jude Winchester was on hand to poke the ball home in front of the travelling support.

Just 3 minutes after Winchester's opener the game changed as Ballymena were reduced to 10 men. Jonny Addis was adjudged to have made a late, dangerous challenge on Chapman which saw referee Steven Gregg reach for his red card, to the dismay of Addis and his teammates.

The sending off meant a backs to the wall performance from Ballymena for the closing 25 minutes as Carrick looked to take advantage of the extra man. A series of free kicks and corners came and went for Carrick, with a lot of credit needing to go to Glendinning who dealt well with a number of the crosses. Despite plenty of the ball the closest Carrick came was through Gerard Kelly, but he couldn't get enough on a header to worry Glendinning.

With Ballymena looking to hit on the break, sub Ross Lavery called Hogg into action before Friel raced clear down the left wing, only to again find the hands of Hogg.

Carrick failed to create anything in the 5 minutes of added time as Ballymena, far from their best, claimed a dogged and important three points at a tough venue.

Match report written by Philip McPeake

Squad Statistics (as at August 30th, 2019)

2019-2020 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)26 8 - 118 -
Steven McCullough25 9 - 925
Kofi Balmer18 8 - 714
Jim Ervin34 7 - 2243
Jonathan Addis26 61484
Jude Winchester26 83438
Andrew McGrory27 734313
Declan Carville29 6 - 6 -
Leroy Millar23 9114019
Ryan Harpur30 7 - 12 -
Cathair Friel26 9313361
Andrew Burns (sub)27 6 - 412
Ross Lavery (sub)23 4242

League Table (as at August 30th, 2019)

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