Ballymena United 1
Institute 1
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
1 - 1

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 867
3:00 PM Kick-off

Andrew McGrory (pen.) (50)
Joseph McCready (28) (pen.)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Sean Connor

Starting Eleven
1. Ross Glendinning
14. Andrew Burns
11. Steven McCullough
21. Jim Ervin
4. Jonathan Addis
20. Jude Winchester
16. Declan Carville
7. Shane McGinty
17. Andrew McGrory
22. Adam Lecky
12. Kenny Kane
Rory Brown .31
Colm McLaughlin .3
Dean Curry .5
Niall Grace .8
Conor Tourish .15
Gareth Brown .16
Joseph McCready .19
Aidan McCauley .24
Evan Tweed .27
Graham Crown .29
Shane McNamee .30

31. Jordan Williamson
2. Tony Kane
19. Kofi Balmer
24. Reece Glendinning
10. James Knowles
28. Ross Lavery
6. Ryan Mayse
Paul Wells .21
Mark Scoltock .12
Jake Morrow .14
Jamie McIntyre .17
Shaun Leppard .28
Aaron McGurk .33
Jack Bradley .34

Ross Lavery for Kenny Kane (62)
Tony Kane for Declan Carville (75)
Jamie McIntyre for Shane McNamee (68)
Aaron McGurk for Gareth Brown (82)
Jack Bradley for Evan Tweed (84)

Jonathan Addis (30)
Andrew Burns (31)
Dean Curry (31)
Aidan McCauley (37)
Graham Crown (56)
Gareth Brown (57)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Evan Boyce (Referee)
Gavin Hegarty & Richard Storey (Assistants)
Keith Kennedy (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Despite Andy McGrory's penalty getting Ballymena United a first league point in five games, the long wait for a league win goes on after a 1-1 draw with Institute at the Showgrounds.

In a cagey and cautious opening quarter of an hour both sides traded a couple of half chances. Kenny Kane almost got on the end of a cross from Shane McGinty, only for Stute 'keeper Rory Brown to get there first, and at the other end Niall Grace had time to bring the ball down in the box, but fired well over. On 14 minutes the extremely unlikely source of Jim Ervin called Brown into action with a shot from 20 yards out after the skipper dispossessed Joe McCready, who himself had a free kick well saved by Ross Glendinning not long after.

By the mid point of the half it was the visitors who were looking the far more likely to score and the most bizarre spot of pinball in the Ballymena box you're likely to see all season somehow didn't yield a goal. The closest Institute came in amongst the melee were two shots blocked on the line by first Andrew Burns and then Declan Carville.

28 minutes in the away side were handed the chance to go ahead when Ervin brought down Gareth Brown inside the box, and despite some questionable officiating all game, there were no complaints with this decision. Joseph McCready stepped up to take the penalty and despite Glendinning going the right way, the penalty was slotted home well into the bottom corner.

Glendinning was getting a good work out in the first half and saved extremely well again to tip Colm McLaughlin's low effort round the post, before arguably his save of the half in denying Brown kept Ballymena in the game. In between those Institute chances The Sky Blues had a penalty appeal of their own waved away by Evan Boyce as Adam Lecky looked to be held back in the box by Dean Curry, but with nothing given United went into the break trailing by a goal to nil.

Ballymena had to come out and show a reaction in the second half and after a bright start they were awarded a penalty of their own just four minutes in when Lecky was brought down by Brown after a bit of a mix up at the back for Institute. Andrew McGrory took the penalty and emphatically dispatched it down the middle for his seventh goal of the season.

With Ballymena now back on level terms against a side with just one league win all season, the expectation would've been for United to kick on, and whilst the hosts did dominate play after the equaliser, Institute still carried a threat. This threat was shown just three minutes after McGrory's goal when Brown curled one just wide, while at the other end Carville passed up a great opportunity from close range when he couldn't get the ball fully under control and his attempt was blocked.

McCready was proving to be dangerous up top for the North West side and he manufactured a chance for himself well, with Glendinning getting down well again to save. It wasn't only Glendinning who looked impressive between the sticks as Lecky almost headed United in front, but for a cracking diving save by Brown. He saved again with 20 minutes to go when Carville's deflected shot initially looked to be heading in, but it was deceiving as the ball ended up comfortably in Brown's arms.

Ballymena's somewhat large amount of possession of the ball went in the final 10 minutes as it was a sharper Institute side doing most of the running to find a winner. The move of the match from Stute saw a string of passes end with Conor Tourish striking narrowly over. Tourish's chance was followed by McGready going close. United continuously backed off the forward allowing him to curl an effort towards the top corner, only to be kept out by another top stop from Glendinning.

In amongst the away side's openings Ballymena came agonisingly close to winning the game when sub Ross Lavery found Shane McGinty and his rasping volley came back off the crossbar, before more United penalty appeals for a push on McGrory fell on deaf ears. In four minutes of added time Jamie McIntyre and Aidan McCauley both struck wide on the counter attack for Institute, but neither side could find a winning goal as United will feel it's more dropped points at home.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at November 23rd, 2019)

2019-2020 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)26 20 - 130 -
Steven McCullough25 25 - 1085
Andrew Burns27 17 - 522
Jim Ervin34 24 - 2413
Jonathan Addis27 212635
Jude Winchester26 193548
Shane McGinty25 193406
Declan Carville29 201201
Andrew McGrory27 2175717
Kenny Kane20 122122
Adam Lecky28 835120
Tony Kane (sub)32 8 - 32446
Ross Lavery (sub)23 162162

League Table (as at November 23rd, 2019)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Coleraine 17 11 5 1 38
2. Cliftonville 17 12 2 3 38
3. Crusaders 17 10 5 2 35
4. Linfield 14 10 0 4 30
5. Glentoran 16 9 3 4 30
6. Larne 16 6 6 4 24
7. BALLYMENA UTD 16 4 5 7 17
8. Carrick 16 5 0 11 15
9. Glenavon 14 4 2 8 14
10. Dungannon 16 4 2 10 14
11. Institute 16 1 6 9 9
12. Warrenpoint Town 17 2 0 15 6