Ballymena United 0
Carrick Rangers 2
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
0 - 2

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, February 8th, 2020
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,039
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Kyle Cherry (40)
Daniel Kelly (56)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Niall Currie

Starting Eleven
1. Ross Glendinning
35. Kyle Owens
5. Scot Whiteside
11. Steven McCullough
4. Jonathan Addis
23. Leroy Millar
10. James Knowles
20. Jude Winchester
17. Andrew McGrory
15. Joe McCready
9. Cathair Friel
Harry Doherty .38
Reece Neale .3
Mark Surgenor .4
Caolan Loughran .6
Lee Chapman .7
Daniel Kelly .10
Daniel Magill .14
Kyle Cherry .20
Darren Murray .31
Alex Gawne .35
Lloyd Anderson .42

2. Tony Kane
19. Kofi Balmer
14. Andrew Burns
24. Reece Glendinning
26. Joshua Kelly
28. Ross Lavery
12. Kenny Kane
Ben Nicholl .26
Mark Carson .2
William Faulkner .8
Liam Hassin .27
Daniel Reynolds .32
Lee Colligan .33
Bailey Hoy .36

Tony Kane for Jude Winchester (65)
Joshua Kelly for James Knowles (65)
Kenny Kane for Cathair Friel (68)
Mark Carson for Lee Chapman (13)
William Faulkner for Lloyd Anderson (82)
Daniel Reynolds for Alex Gawne (88)

James Knowles (55)
Caolan Loughran (55)
Lloyd Anderson (80)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Ian McNabb (Referee)
Stephen Donaldson & Adam Jeffrey (Assistants)
Neil Robinson (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Ballymena United's league problems continued as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Carrick Rangers in horrendous conditions at The Showgrounds.

January signing Joseph McCready made his debut for the Sky Blues, replacing the injured Adam Lecky, in the only change from last Saturday's Irish Cup win over Warrenpoint Town.

With most of Northern Ireland feeling the force of Storm Ciara, Warden Street was no different as the first half was dictated by strong winds. Both sides unsurprisingly struggled to get the grips with the conditions in the opening twenty minutes, but after an actionless opening spell a flurry of chances came at once. Ballymena were playing with the wind in the first half and looked to take advantage from corners in particular. A ball in from Steven McCullough was prodded wide by Kyle Owens but took a slight deflection, with the resulting corner turned over by Leroy Millar six yards out.

Jonny Addis was threatening going forward for United and after great feet on the by-line his low cross was cleared as far as McCready, who saw a driven shot blocked narrowly wide. This time the resulting corner eventually fell to Jude Winchester, who sent a half volley just over. The Gers were being held back by the wind as they attacked the Town End, with some of goalkeeper Harry Doherty's goal kick's almost blowing back into his box. The first Carrick threatened Ballymena's goal was on 27 minutes but Darren Murray's tame effort was easy work for Ross Glendinning.

McCullough called Doherty into action when he caught all of a first time shot from twenty-five yards, but Doherty did well to parry, before Glendinning saved well to deny Caolan Loughran from a central free kick at the other end. Five minutes before the break Carrick took the lead despite playing into the conditions. Lloyd Anderson drove forward and passed for Murray, whose cross from the right was headed home by Kyle Cherry who easily got up above Andy McGrory.

With the last kick of the half Ballymena came within inches of levelling when James Knowles' free kick on the edge of box floated wide, but it was Carrick who led at the break.

After failing to take advantage of the weather in the first half, Ballymena had it all to do in the second period when they were forced to attack into not only growing winds, but now torrential rain. Those problems mounted ten minutes into the half when Carrick doubled their lead. United were left incensed when what look to be a fine tackle from Knowles was penalised as a foul by the assistant referee, and from the resulting free kick Cherry crossed for Daniel Kelly who headed home virtually unchallenged at the back post.

That was as good as it got for either side as conditions continued to worsen and neither team really looked like scoring. Despite the weather, United weren't doing little to force the matter as they failed to get the ball down and play, which was seemingly the only way forward. David Jeffrey tried to change things up as Joshua Kelly, Tony Kane and Kenneth Kane all came off the bench, but it was to little effect.

Loughran went close to scoring against his old team when he headed a free kick over, before late on goalscorer Kelly saw a low effort go just wide. With the scoreline and conditions the way they were, Ballymena fans were waiting to hear the final whistle as a dismal day all round saw United slump to a sixth straight league defeat.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at February 8th, 2020)

2019-2020 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)26 25 - 135 -
Scot Whiteside22 161481
Jonathan Addis27 322745
Kyle Owens27 318913
Steven McCullough25 38 - 1215
Andrew McGrory28 35107120
Jude Winchester26 223578
Leroy Millar24 31516223
James Knowles26 101396
Joe McCready29 1 - 1 -
Cathair Friel26 301015468
Tony Kane (sub)32 20133647
Joshua Kelly (sub)20 261261
Kenny Kane (sub)20 162162

League Table (as at February 8th, 2020)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 28 19 3 6 60
2. Coleraine 28 16 8 4 56
3. Glentoran 28 17 5 6 56
4. Crusaders 28 16 7 5 55
5. Cliftonville 28 17 3 8 54
6. Larne 28 13 8 7 47
7. Glenavon 28 10 4 14 34
8. Carrick 28 10 1 17 31
9. BALLYMENA UTD 27 7 5 15 26
10. Dungannon 27 6 5 16 23
11. Warrenpoint Town 28 5 1 22 16
12. Institute 28 2 8 18 14