2 - 2
League (NIFL Premiership)
Jordan Allan (89)
Jordan Allan (90)
Cathair Friel (52)
Cathair Friel (78)
Alan Blayney .18
Kyle Owens .4
Tony Kane .2
Daniel Wallace .17
Jim Ervin .21
Caolan Loughran .34
William Faulkner .12
Allan Jenkins .10
Gary Thompson .7
Jonathan McMurray .27
Cathair Friel .14
Ross Glendinning .1
Jonathan Flynn .5
Eoin Kane .15
Conor McCloskey .11
Leroy Millar .23
Steven Douglas for David Ogilby (53)
Jordan Allan for Ian Parkhill (54)
Ruaidhri Higgins for Neil McCafferty (67)
Conor McCloskey for Gary Thompson (88)
David Ogilby (25)
Adam Mullan (67)
Caolan Loughran (86)
Keith Kennedy (Referee)
BALLYMENA United let a two goal lead slip as rivals Coleraine scored two late goals to share the derby day spoils.
It was a story of two doubles as Cathair Friel netted both United's goals and Jordan Allan scored Coleraine's late brace.
The first half provided little in terms of real chances for either side, with Ballymena controlling the play and creating the better openings. Friel rounded Coleraine keeper Chris Johns with 8 minutes played but couldn't find the target from a very acute angle. Midway through the first half Tony Kane, making his 200th competitive appearance for the Sky Blues, was presented with a good opportunity with a free kick from inside 25 yards, but his shot drifted narrowly wide.
Coleraine created their first real chance of note in the 29th minute, but their effort was deflected wide of Alan Blayney's goal. Minutes later Friel again tested Johns with a shot on the half volley. Right at the end of the half Gary Thompson passed off a great chance to open the scoring, instead passing to Allan Jenkins who had his effort deflected over.
The second half was a much more exciting affair as Coleraine started strongly. A free kick from a position similar to that of Kane's in the first half was drilled low by Gareth McConaghie and Blayney saved well. Two minutes later, the United keeper again saved well from a long James McLaughlin shot.
The deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute. Tony Kane floated a free kick into the Coleraine box and it eventually fell to Cathair Friel who hammered the ball home in front of the United support.
Coleraine responded well with a couple of chances but the lead should've been doubled as Friel found Johnny McMurray with space in the box, but somehow he pulled the shot wide. Ballymena were almost made to pay minutes later at the other end as Coleraine hit the woodwork through substitute Jordan Allan.
On 80 minutes Ballymena looked to have secured the three points as Friel and McMurray linked up well again in a counter attack, this time Friel providing his second goal of the derby with a neat finish.
Coleraine probed for a way back into the game, but struggled to create clear cut chances until the 89th minute when a mistake by Blayney allowed Allan to round him and fire home. This provided a nervy finish and two minutes into added time United's defence was beaten again as a Coleraine ball from the right was met by the boot of Allan who, agonisingly for the visitors, levelled the score.
Despite the disappointment of having dropped two points in the last few minutes of the game, United are now unbeaten in 8 games in all competitions.
Match report written by Phillip McPeake
|Alan Blayney (GK)||34||9||-||71||-|
|Conor McCloskey (sub)||24||10||2||10||2|
* - Table split into two divisions of six.