Ballymena United 2
Coleraine 2
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
2 - 2

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, October 12th, 2013
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,467
3:00 PM Kick-off

Jonathan Taylor (67)
Jonathan Taylor (73)
Eoin Bradley (25)
Stephen Carson (33)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Oran Kearney

Starting Eleven
Dwayne Nelson
2. Tony Kane
6. Aaron Stewart
Mark McCullagh
Jonathan Taylor
Michael Ruddy
Gary Thompson
10. Allan Jenkins
11. David Cushley
Michael McLellan
Shane Dolan
Wayne Drummond
Howard Beverland
David Ogilby
Aaron Canning
Stephen Lowry
Michael Hegarty
Stephen Carson
Gareth Tommons
Ryan McIlmoyle
Eoin Bradley
Gary Browne

Mark Surgenor
David Munster
Thomas Robinson
Alan Teggart
Gary Liggett
Joel Bradley
Steven Douglas
Paul Owens
John Watt
Stuart McMullan

Thomas Robinson for Aaron Stewart (46)
Alan Teggart for David Cushley (60)
Gary Liggett for Michael McLellan (76)
Joel Bradley for Gareth Tommons (73)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Tim Marshall (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United ended their unenviable record of seven straight defeats against derby rivals Coleraine with a spirited 2-2 draw at the Showgrounds on Saturday.

Whilst all in attendance would agree that United's first half display was pretty abject, they did have a right to feel aggrieved with referee Tim Marshall who disallowed a seemingly perfectly good goal from David Cushley with 18 minutes on the clock. A simple coming together between United defender Johnny Taylor and Coleraine goalkeeper Wayne Drummond led to the latter dropping the ball, with Cushley on hand to tap in.

Just to compound the home side's bad luck, Coleraine took the lead just seven minutes later, former Ballymoney United striker Eoin Bradley held off defender Mark McCullagh before a powerful turn and shot which beat Dwayne Nelson in the United goal all ends up. The visitors doubled their advantage with 33 minutes on the clock, Aaron Stewart was harshly judged to have fouled Stephen Lowry on the edge of the box despite appearing to make contact with the ball, before Stephen Carson stepped up to dispatch a superb free kick into the top right hand corner to the delight of the travelling support.

The Sky Blues emerged for the second half with a different mentality palpable from the onset as they finally took the game to the visitors in the hope of reducing the two goal deficit. The introduction of young winger Thomas Robinson for only his second Danske Bank Premiership appearance proved to be a positive step, as his ability to run with the ball at pace caused grave concerns for the Coleraine defence.

Michael McClellan missed a gilt edged chance to reduce the arrears on the hour mark when he headed straight at Wayne Drummond from just in front of goal. This didn't deter United, who in turn upped the ante as the search for a game changing goal became all the more apparent. That goal finally arrived on 64 minutes, Johnny Taylor heading home from Ally Teggert's corner via a deflection off Coleraine defender Aaron Canning. Taylor found himself celebrating again just five minutes later when another Ally Teggert corner was headed into the goal with aplomb to spark wild scenes of jubilations amongst the home support.

The final 20 minutes were end to end stuff as both sides went in search of an elusive winner. Neither side did manage to score the decisive goal although United striker Shane Dolan was sent off in added time in bizarre circumstances, after an apparent coming together with Coleraine's Ryan Mcllmoyle.

In the end, United would gladly have taken a point after being two goals down at half time, although questions should be asked as to why on earth it took 45 minutes for the side to start playing, given the importance and history of the fixture. Next up for the Sky Blues is a trip to Stangmore Park to take on Dungannon Swifts on Saturday (3pm).

Match report written by Jordan Miller

Squad Statistics (as at October 12th, 2013)

2013-2014 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)29 13 - 171 -
Aaron Stewart23 1111806
Jonathan Taylor25 123436
Tony Kane26 141826
Michael Ruddy20 11 - 32 -
Mark McCullagh26 13 - 20 -
Allan Jenkins32 1128313
Gary Thompson23 131536
Michael McLellan20 8181
David Cushley24 8212925
Shane Dolan25 93226
Thomas Robinson (sub)20 2 - 2 -
Alan Teggart (sub)26 1319116
Gary Liggett (sub)26 132307

League Table (as at October 12th, 2013)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Linfield 11 7 2 2 9 23
2. Portadown 10 5 4 1 15 19
3. Crusaders 11 5 4 2 10 19
4. Cliftonville 11 6 1 4 6 19
5. Glenavon 10 5 2 3 5 17
6. Glentoran 11 4 4 3 1 16
7. Dungannon 11 4 3 4 -1 15
8. Coleraine 11 3 5 3 1 14
9. Ballinamallard Utd 11 4 1 6 -14 13
10. BALLYMENA UTD 11 3 2 6 -8 11
11. Warrenpoint Town 11 2 2 7 -10 8
12. Ards 11 2 0 9 -14 6

* - Table split into two divisions of six.