Ballymena United 1
Dungannon Swifts 2
League (NIFL Premiership)


Ballymena United
1 - 2
Dungannon 

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, March 29th, 2014
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 393
3:00 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Neal Gawley (90)
Gary Liggett (33)
Ryan Harpur (67)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Darren Murphy

Starting Eleven
Macauley Cairns
David Munster
Caolan Loughran
Michael Ruddy
Mark McCullagh
Gavin Taggart
4. Alan Davidson
Neal Gawley
Leroy Millar
Michael McLellan
Mark Kelly
Berraat Turker
Sean McCashin
Matthew Hazley
Marc Brolly
Terry Fitzpatrick
David McCullough
Ryan Harpur
Francis Brennan
Jamie Glackin
Gary Liggett
Cameron Grieve

Bench
6. Aaron Stewart
2. Tony Kane
Eoin Kane
Neil Lowry
James McCabe
Kris Lowe
Stefan Lavery
Richard Copeland
Dermot McCaffrey
Jonathan Topley

Substitutions
Eoin Kane for Alan Davidson (46)
James McCabe for Michael Ruddy (54)
Neil Lowry for Michael McLellan (65)
Kris Lowe for Matthew Hazley (73)
Stefan Lavery for Jamie Glackin (83)

Cautions
Caolan Loughran (80)
None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Ian McNabb (Referee)


Match Report


A MUCH changed Ballymena United side were defeated at the Showgrounds on Saturday by Dungannon Swifts for the first time this season.

Manager Glenn Ferguson made 11 changes from the side who defeat Glenavon last Saturday, with the intention of wrapping in cotton wool his key players ahead of the Irish Cup semi final next week. The visitors threatened first, Ryan Harpur found himself in an excellent position to find Gary Liggett, but the ex-United striker blazed over the bar. On 28 minutes Harpur tested Macauley Cairns with a powerful free kick but the young United goalkeeper produced an excellent save to deny the Swifts from taking the lead. This seemed to spark United into life, Dungannon goalkeeper Berratt Turker was on hand to deny Gavin Taggart, when the midfielder should really have scored.

Dungannon took the lead with 32 minutes on the clock. Matt Hazley's effort appeared to be going wide before Gary Liggett diverted it goalwards past the outstretched Macauley Cairns. It should really have been two on 35 minutes but Mark Brolly shot high, wide and not very handsome from the edge of the box. Cairns produced a stunning save with his legs just before the break when Gary Liggett looked set to double his side's advantage.

The Swifts finally doubled their advantage on 69 minutes, David McCullough played through the busy Ryan Harpur, who beat Cairns at his near post to effectively seal the game for the visitors. Mark Kelly appeared to have instantly reduced the deficit barely a minute later but the assistant referee ruled his effort out on the grounds that he had handled when controlling the ball. Debutant Caolan Loughran almost registered a goal on his first start for United with a well struck free kick but Berratt Turker in the Dungannon goal palmed away.

Neal Gawley scored a consolation gaol for United in injury time to reduce the winning margin, and what a goal it was, direct from a corner! This was a low-key game played in front of low-key crowd and atmosphere with everyone's attention seemingly fixed on next Saturday's all important Irish Cup semi final against Queen's University at the Oval (3pm), where no doubt a much changed team will line up.

Match report written by Jordan Miller



Squad Statistics (as at March 29th, 2014)


2013-2014 All Time
Age
Macauley Cairns (GK)19 1 - 2 -
David Munster35 271966
Mark McCullagh26 33 - 40 -
Michael Ruddy20 241451
Caolan Loughran19 1 - 1 -
Neal Gawley28 8181
Gavin Taggart29 20 - 1395
Leroy Millar18 2 - 2 -
Alan Davidson26 25 - 638
Michael McLellan21 232232
Mark Kelly24 3 - 3 -
Eoin Kane (sub)18 1 - 1 -
Neil Lowry (sub)20 181513
James McCabe (sub)21 2 - 253



League Table (as at March 29th, 2014)


Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Cliftonville 34 22 7 5 39 73
2. Linfield 34 22 6 6 33 72
3. Crusaders 34 17 12 5 28 63
4. Portadown 34 17 7 10 24 58
5. Glenavon 34 15 6 13 9 51
6. Glentoran 34 13 11 10 8 50
7. BALLYMENA UTD 34 13 5 16 -10 44
8. Dungannon 34 11 6 17 -15 39
9. Coleraine 34 8 10 16 -12 34
10. Ballinamallard Utd 34 9 6 19 -38 33
11. Warrenpoint Town 34 8 6 20 -30 30
12. Ards 34 6 4 24 -36 22

* - Table split into two divisions of six.