Ballymena United 3
Glenavon 6
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
3 - 6

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, August 10th, 2013
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 755
3:00 PM Kick-off

Neil Lowry (47)
Gary Thompson (65)
Jonathan Taylor (88)
Guy Bates (8)
Guy Bates (26)
William Murphy (30)
Mark Farren (35)
Mark Farren (83)
Andrew McGrory (86)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Gary Hamilton

Starting Eleven
Dwayne Nelson
2. Tony Kane
6. Aaron Stewart
Jonathan Taylor
Stephen McBride
Alan Teggart
4. Alan Davidson
Gary Thompson
10. Allan Jenkins
Gary Liggett
Neil Lowry
Andrew Coleman
Eddie McCallion
William Murphy
Kyle Neill
Gareth McKeown
Ciaran Martyn
Mark Patton
Andrew Kilmartin
Andrew McGrory
Mark Farren
Guy Bates

Mark Surgenor
Mark McCullagh
Michael Ruddy
Neal Gawley
James McCabe
Conor Hagan
David Rainey
Kris Lindsay
Gary Hamilton
James Singleton

Mark Surgenor for Gary Liggett (46)
Neal Gawley for Neil Lowry (83)
Michael Ruddy for Gary Thompson (85)
Conor Hagan for Ciaran Martyn (69)
David Rainey for Mark Patton (78)
Kris Lindsay for William Murphy (79)

Jonathan Taylor (41)
Mark Surgenor (52)
Andrew Kilmartin (40)
William Murphy (41)
Mark Farren (66)
Conor Hagan (84)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Raymond Crangle (Referee)

Match Report

ANY Ballymena United fans who ventured to the Showgrounds on Saturday with optimism were soon left despondent as visitors Glenavon romped home to a 3-6 victory.

The opener came as early as the sixth minute, the United defence failed to deal with a straightforward goal-kick from Glenavon goalkeeper Andy Coleman, which allowed Guy Bates to score via a deflection off Johnny Taylor. Ironically, this seemed to spring United into life who then exerted an intense 10 minute spell of pressure. First, Gary Liggett fired over from the edge of the box, before Alan Davidson drew a fantastic save out of Andy Coleman on the turn. Soon after, Coleman spilled a simple catch but Neil Lowry wasn't alert enough to connect with the ball in time to score. Next it was the turn of Gary Liggett to be left red faced, who inexplicably missed a glorious chance when unmarked from a yard out. A volley from Allan Jenkins then landed just wide of the far post as United fans were left bewildered at their side's profligacy in front on goal.

Time and again in football when you don't take your chances, you leave yourself vulnerable to the opposition doing just that, and true to form, Glenavon doubled their advantage against the run of play. A long throw from Gareth McKeown was smartly headed in by Guy Bates for his second of the afternoon. Soon after it was three, a cool finish by veteran centre-back William Murphy after Dwayne Nelson had conceded an indirect free-kick inside his box for lifting a back-pass. Bates' free kick eventually fell to the unmarked Murphy to fire past the despairing United goalkeeper.

Glenavon made it four on 34 minutes, an expert turn and low drive from the edge of the box allowed Mark Farren to seemingly put the game beyond United. Glenavon were in control for the rest of the half as the home side left the field to a chorus of boos from the home faithful.

Whatever manager Glenn Ferguson said to his beleaguered troops at half time seemed to work, as just 45 seconds after the restart a rasping 25 yard drive from Neil Lowry flew past Andy Coleman in the Glenavon goal to give the Sky Blues a glimmer if hope. That glimmer became tangible on 65 minutes as Gary Thompson volleyed home Stephen McBride's cross to reduce the arrears further.

At this stage United were well on top and putting Glenavon under a sustained period of intense pressure. They had to gamble, and ultimately their gung-ho approach backfired as Mark Farren made it 5-2 on the counter attack. A low shot from the edge of the box crept under the body of the outstretched Dwayne Nelson to extinguish any hope of a Sky Blue revival. To rub further salt into the wounds, Andy McGrory made it six just five minutes later with a header from inside the six yard box after Nelson parried an earlier shot.

United didn't give up and scored their third with just two minutes of normal remaining as Johnny Taylor nodded home substitute Neal Gawley's corner. Ultimately, it was too little too late for the home side, who were well beaten on the day. The Sky Blue faithful trudged off home bewildered by their side's inability to convert the simplest of chances whilst leaving gaping holes at the back. Both of these fundamental issues will have to be addressed if United are to get any form of positive result against Crusaders at Seaview next Saturday (3pm).

Match report written by Jordan Miller

Squad Statistics (as at August 10th, 2013)

2013-2014 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)28 1 - 159 -
Jonathan Taylor25 11324
Stephen McBride30 1 - 1 -
Tony Kane25 1 - 695
Aaron Stewart23 1 - 1705
Alan Teggart26 1 - 7915
Alan Davidson25 1 - 398
Gary Thompson23 11416
Allan Jenkins31 1 - 7311
Gary Liggett25 1 - 185
Neil Lowry20 11343
Mark Surgenor (sub)27 1 - 13415
Michael Ruddy (sub)20 1 - 22 -
Neal Gawley (sub)27 1 - 1 -

League Table (as at August 10th, 2013)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Glenavon 1 1 0 0 3 3
2. Cliftonville 1 1 0 0 2 3
3. Glentoran 1 0 1 0 0 1
4. Linfield 1 0 1 0 0 1
5. Portadown 1 0 1 0 0 1
6. Crusaders 1 0 0 1 -1 0
7. Dungannon 1 1 0 0 1 3
8. Ballinamallard Utd 1 1 0 0 1 3
9. Coleraine 1 0 1 0 0 1
10. Warrenpoint Town 1 0 0 1 -1 0
11. Ards 1 0 0 1 -2 0
12. BALLYMENA UTD 1 0 0 1 -3 0

* - Table split into two divisions of six.