Crusaders 1
Ballymena United 2
League (NIFL Premiership)


1 - 2

Ballymena United

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Attendance: 622
3:00 PM Kick-off

Timmy Adamson (55) Shane Dolan (78)
Gary Liggett (89)

Team Managers
Stephen Baxter Glenn Ferguson

Starting Eleven
Sean O'Neill
David Magowan
Craig McClean
Joshua Robinson
Matthew King
Declan Caddell
Chris Morrow
Eamon McAllister
Paul Heatley
Timmy Adamson
Jordan Owens
Dwayne Nelson
Stephen McBride
Mark McCullagh
Tony Kane .2
Jonathan Taylor
Gary Thompson
Alan Davidson .4
Allan Jenkins .10
Alan Teggart
David Cushley .11
Neil Lowry

David McAllister
Nathan Hanley
David McMaster
Yohann Lacroix
Thomas Wray
Mark Surgenor
Michael Ruddy
Aaron Stewart .6
Shane Dolan
Gary Liggett

David McAllister for Paul Heatley (85)
Nathan Hanley for Declan Caddell (87)
Shane Dolan for David Cushley (18)
Aaron Stewart for Mark McCullagh (61)
Gary Liggett for Neil Lowry (75)

Timmy Adamson (18) Alan Davidson (34)
Jonathan Taylor (34)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Arnold Hunter (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United bounced back into form with a smash and grab 2-1 victory at Seaview, late strikes from substitutes Shane Dolan and Gary Liggett sealed all three points for the Sky Blues.

Manager Glenn Ferguson made two changes from the previous week's heavy defeat at home to Glenavon, with Mark McCullagh and David Cushley replacing Aaron Stewart and Gary Liggett respectively. In a somewhat strange formation, the visitors lined up without a recognised striker, with David Cushley playing as the most advanced player in a front three. United had a much more solid look about them in the first half, as they restricted the hosts to a number of long range efforts. Timmy Adamson and Jordan Owens were both guilty of flashing headers just wide when well placed, as the visitors backline otherwise held firm.

The only real chance of note for United came late in the half, Gary Thompson fed Ally Teggert, whose low cross was turned away by Crusaders defender Matthew King to prevent substitute Shane Dolan from scoring a tap in. Dolan had replaced David Cushley mid-way through the first half after the midfielder-come-striker took a heavy knock from a challenge.

Goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson was in fine form, and despite not creating any clear cut goalscoring opportunities themselves, the Sky Blues went into the interval relatively pleased with their first half's work.

Crusaders stepped it up a gear early in the second half and finally took the lead 10 minutes after the break. An excellent through ball by Eamonn McAllister found Timmy Adamson in acres of space, who finished smartly past the advancing Dwayne Nelson. An extended spell of pressure was exerted by the hosts, with both Eamonn McAllister and Jordan Owens striking the woodwork.

United weathered the storm and looked to have stole a point on 83 minutes. Shane Dolan's deflected effort rolled past Crues Goalkeeper Sean O'Neill and into the net. Alan Davidson's through ball had found Gary Liggett who squared the ball for his strike partner to side foot home via a home defender's leg. Neither side happy with a point, both went in search of a late winner. Whilst it would seem that the smart money may have been on the dominant Crusaders it was in fact United who stole the show right at the death. An exquisite pass from Alan Davidson found Gary Liggett, who rifled the ball home past Sean O'Neill from an acute angle to spark wild scenes of jubilation in the away end.

What a difference seven days makes, from the despair of last weekend's humiliating defeat to the unbridled joy of Saturday's late winner. United fans will hope their side show similar fighting spirit next weekend as they welcome Dungannon Swifts to the Showgrounds (3pm), a fixture they will be favourites to win.

Match report written by Jordan Miller

Squad Statistics (as at August 17th, 2013)

2013-2014 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)28 2 - 160 -
Mark McCullagh26 1 - 8 -
Tony Kane25 2 - 705
Jonathan Taylor25 21334
Stephen McBride30 2 - 2 -
Alan Teggart26 2 - 8015
Gary Thompson23 21426
Alan Davidson25 2 - 408
Allan Jenkins31 2 - 7411
Neil Lowry20 21353
David Cushley24 1 - 12223
Aaron Stewart (sub)23 2 - 1715
Gary Liggett (sub)25 21196
Shane Dolan (sub)25 11144

League Table (as at August 17th, 2013)

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

* - Table split into two divisions of six.