Ballymena United 0
Glenavon 3
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
0 - 3

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, January 18th, 2020
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,067
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Conan Byrne (35)
Daniel Purkis (65)
Greg Moorhouse (90)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Gary Hamilton

Starting Eleven
31. Jordan Williamson
35. Kyle Owens
11. Steven McCullough
21. Jim Ervin
24. Reece Glendinning
4. Jonathan Addis
2. Tony Kane
16. Declan Carville
17. Andrew McGrory
23. Leroy Millar
9. Cathair Friel
Jonathan Tuffey .1
Andrew Doyle .6
Joshua Daniels .7
Conan Byrne .10
Aaron Harmon .15
Daniel Purkis .19
Matthew Snoddy .26
James Singleton .27
Robert Garrett .28
Jordan Jenkins .30
Calum Birney .32

1. Ross Glendinning
14. Andrew Burns
26. Joshua Kelly
10. James Knowles
28. Ross Lavery
20. Jude Winchester
25. Aaron Burns
Daniel Larmour .2
Patrick Burns .3
Greg Moorhouse .12
Conor McCloskey .20
Jack O'Mahony .21
Kyle Beggs .23
Seamus Sharkey .55

Andrew Burns for Jim Ervin (46)
Aaron Burns for Jonathan Addis (70)
Joshua Kelly for Tony Kane (70)
Conor McCloskey for Conan Byrne (64)
Greg Moorhouse for Jordan Jenkins (82)
Jack O'Mahony for Robert Garrett (90)

Kyle Owens (34)
Cathair Friel (67)
Declan Carville (90)
Andrew Burns (90)
Calum Birney (83)
Robert Garrett (85)
Andrew Doyle (90)
James Singleton (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Keith Kennedy (Referee)
Paul Robinson & Andrew Nethery (Assistants)
Raymond Crangle (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Another disappointing day for Ballymena United at the Showgrounds saw the Sky Blues suffer a heavy 3-0 defeat to Glenavon.

The Braidmen welcomed back Kyle Owens who started for his second debut after he re-joined on loan from Crusaders, while both Andrew and Aaron Burns returned to the bench after injury.

Glenavon started the better of the two but didn't turn their possession into chances and it would be the hosts who threatened goal first. A cross in from Reece Glendinning was met by Declan Carville, who again was playing up top with Cathair Friel, with Carville's floated header going inches wide of the post. A matter of minutes later Owens almost marked his second coming in style when he let fly from surely all of 40 yards, but his low effort was tipped onto the post by Jonny Tuffey. Shortly after the resulting corner Steven McCullough did well on the left and found Carville who neatly flicked the ball into the path of Friel, but in a great spot just yards out he dragged his effort wide.

That bright ten minute spell for United would prove to be the only period of any real quality shown by the home side for the remainder of the game, despite the fact Glenavon weren't near their best either. Glenavon's new signing in the week, Calum Birney, headed wide from a corner, before Jordan Williamson did well to gather a ball fired across the six yard box by Daniel Purkis, with Josh Daniels waiting behind the 'keeper to score.

Williamson was tested again shortly afterwards but easily gathered a drive by Jordan Jenkins, but on 35 minutes Williamson could do nothing as Glenavon went ahead. The Lurgan Blues received a questionable free kick on the edge of the Ballymena box and Conan Byrne's strike took a wicked deflection off Owens, sending the ball the opposite way and into the goal.

It was very nearly two in quick succession when Purvis' shot looked in the whole way, only to curl narrowly wide of the bottom corner. At the end of the half Andy McGrory slipped in Friel who was the next to curl one just wide in what was the last chance of the half. There are little more worrying sights for Ballymena supporters than seeing Jim Ervin down injured, and those fears became reality when the skipper had to be helped off the pitch as he was substituted on the half time whistle, with Andrew Burns taking his place.

United started the second period reasonably well and had the first chance of the half, albeit a difficult one as Jonny Addis headed a corner wide from a challenging position with the ball behind him. Straight up the other end Glenavon almost made it 2-0 when Andrew Doyle failed to score from close range, and after a bit of a goalmouth scramble Williamson was able to come out of it with the ball. Ballymena couldn't have come much closer to equalising on the hour mark when Friel picked out Carville with a good delivery, with Carville's header looking certain to go in before it was wonderfully saved by the hand of Tuffey. From the corner United were left frustrated again when Friel met the ball but saw his bullet header come back off the post.

The Sky Blues were left to rue those close shaves even more when the visitors doubled their lead on 65 minutes in far too easy circumstances. Jenkins glided through the United half completely unchallenged by a Sky Blue shirt and slid in Daniel Purkis who rounded Williamson and slotted home.

United's rather timid attempts at a comeback started ok when Friel went close again, only to be denied by another fine Tuffey stop, this time with his legs. David Jeffrey made a double sub with 20 minutes to go as Anthony Kane and Addis made way for Josh Kelly and Aaron Burns. Another cracking save by Tuffey to keep a Leroy Millar free kick out was Ballymena's only effort on goal in the final 15 minutes until added time, as Glenavon's defence dealt well with the limited attempts thrown at them.

As the board for 4 minutes of added on time went up McCullough had a volley from the edge of the box cleared off the line by the head of Doyle, and in the final minute of the game Glenavon compounded the Braidmen's misery with a third. Daniel's got down the left flank with ease and crossed for Conor McCloskey. He teed up fellow sub Greg Moorhouse and in acres of space his half volley squeezed in past Williamson to bring an end to an all to familiar day for Ballymena this season.

Match report written by Philip McPeake

Squad Statistics (as at January 18th, 2020)

2019-2020 All Time
Jordan Williamson (GK)24 14 - 15 -
Jim Ervin34 34 - 2513
Steven McCullough25 35 - 1185
Jonathan Addis27 282705
Kyle Owens27 1 - 8712
Reece Glendinning24 6 - 172
Tony Kane32 17133347
Andrew McGrory28 3196719
Declan Carville30 262262
Leroy Millar24 27415822
Cathair Friel26 261015068
Andrew Burns (sub)27 22 - 572
Joshua Kelly (sub)20 221221
Aaron Burns (sub)27 7171

League Table (as at January 18th, 2020)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Glentoran 25 16 5 4 53
2. Crusaders 26 15 7 4 52
3. Linfield 24 16 3 5 51
4. Coleraine 26 14 8 4 50
5. Cliftonville 25 16 2 7 50
6. Larne 25 10 8 7 38
7. Glenavon 25 9 4 12 31
8. Carrick 25 9 1 15 28
9. BALLYMENA UTD 25 7 5 13 26
10. Dungannon 24 5 4 15 19
11. Institute 26 2 8 16 14
12. Warrenpoint Town 26 4 1 21 13