Linfield 2
Ballymena United 1
League (NIFL Premiership)


2 - 1

Ballymena United

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, January 31st, 2015
Windsor Park
Attendance: 1,658
3:00 PM Kick-off

Grant McCann (43)
Ross Clarke (74)
David Cushley (17)

Team Managers
Warren Feeney Glenn Ferguson

Starting Eleven
Ross Glendinning
Sean Ward
Mark Haughey
Glenn Belezika
Niall Quinn
Grant McCann
Jamie Mulgrew
Aaron Burns
Ross Clarke
Peter Thompson
Andrew Waterworth
Dwayne Nelson
Jonathan Taylor
Tony Kane .2
Stephen McBride
Patrick McNally
Jim Ervin .21
Allan Jenkins .10
Alan Teggart
Matthew Tipton
David Cushley .11
Gary McCutcheon

Michael Carvill
Stephen Lowry
Sammy Morrow
Seanan Clucas
Jonathan Tuffey
Mark Surgenor
Eamon McAllister
Brian McCaul
Neal Gawley
Darren Henderson

Michael Carvill for Peter Thompson (72)
Stephen Lowry for Grant McCann (83)
Eamon McAllister for David Cushley (62)
Neal Gawley for Alan Teggart (69)
Darren Henderson for Matthew Tipton (78)

Ross Clarke (12) Jonathan Taylor (59)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Andrew Davey (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United's fading top six ambitions were dealt at hammer blow with defeat to Linfield at Windsor Park on Saturday.

United started brightly and fashioned an early chance when David Cushley played through Ally Teggart, but new Linfield defender Glenn Belezika recovered well to snuff out the danger. Linfield responded with an effort from striker Peter Thompson but the ex-Northern Ireland international blazed the ball over the bar when well placed to score.

The Sky Blues were well in the game at this point and scored a spectacular opening goal on 18 minutes. Tony Kane squared the ball to David Cushley from a free kick, before the United midfielder unleashed an unstoppable effort from 30 yards to give Linfield goalkeeper Ross Glendinning no chance.

Linfield then turned up the heat in search of an equaliser, with Andy Waterworth proving a handful for the United defence, going close on a couple of occasions. Next to threaten was Blues defender Sean Ward, but his curling effort landed just wide of Dwayne Nelson's far post. United thought they had doubled their advantage on 41 minutes when, after catching Allan Jenkins' cross, Ross Glendinning took a step backwards with the ball appearing to cross the line but the assistant referee saw otherwise much to Ballymena's frustration.

Linfield took advantage of this good fortune by equalising on the stroke of half time, a neat finish from Grant McCann on his home debut after United failed to clear the ball. McCann was again involved early in the second half with an exquisite cross for Andy Waterworth, but the ex-Glentoran striker's headed finish was ruled out for offside. The recent signing from Peterborough was pulling the strings in midfield and almost got himself on the score sheet again with a curling free kick effort from 25 yards, but to Dwayne Nelson's relief the ball nestled just over the bar.

United blew their only chance of the second period when after smart link up play from Matthew Tipton, Ally Teggart found himself in a good position but his effort with his weaker right foot trundled wide of the post. Linfield took advantage of this miss soon after when winger Ross Clarke beat Stephen McBride in the box before finishing powerfully into the top corner to seal the three points for the home side.

Match report written by Jordan Miller

Squad Statistics (as at January 31st, 2015)

2014-2015 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)30 27 - 203 -
Tony Kane27 2921398
Patrick McNally20 1 - 1 -
Jonathan Taylor26 2849711
Stephen McBride31 28 - 48 -
Jim Ervin29 4 - 211
Allan Jenkins33 32914829
Alan Teggart28 31515228
Matthew Tipton34 36163616
David Cushley25 25918747
Gary McCutcheon36 429451
Eamon McAllister (sub)27 1 - 1 -
Neal Gawley (sub)28 272383
Darren Henderson (sub)29 34105017

League Table (as at January 31st, 2015)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Crusaders 28 17 7 4 58
2. Linfield 27 16 6 5 54
3. Portadown 28 15 6 7 51
4. Cliftonville 27 12 10 5 46
5. Glentoran 27 12 7 8 43
6. Glenavon 28 12 6 10 42
7. Coleraine 28 10 6 12 36
8. BALLYMENA UTD 27 8 6 13 30
9. Dungannon 28 6 9 13 27
10. Ballinamallard Utd 28 6 7 15 25
11. Warrenpoint Town 28 5 8 15 23
12. Institute 28 4 8 16 20