Ballymena United 2
Distillery 0
League (IFA Premiership)

Ballymena United
2 - 0

League (IFA Premiership)
Friday, August 31st, 2012
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 800
7:45 PM Kick-off

Jonathan Harkness (o.g.) (45)
Neil Lowry (88)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Tim McCann

Starting Eleven
1. Dwayne Nelson
2. Tony Kane
16. David Munster
17. Michael Ruddy
6. Aaron Stewart
21. Jonathan Taylor
10. Allan Jenkins
12. Alan Teggart
7. Gary Thompson
11. David Cushley
23. Jamie Davidson
Lee Windrum
Ryan McCann
Jonathan Harkness
Aaron Smyth
Andrew Hunter
Andrew Ferguson
Dominic Melly
David McCullough
Aaron Traynor
Michael Halliday
Gary Liggett

20. Christopher Rodgers
15. Mark Surgenor
8. Gavin Taggart
24. Neil Lowry
26. James McCabe
Jordan Hughes
Jordan Forsythe
Scott Davidson
Andrew Hall
Billy Brennan

Gavin Taggart for Michael Ruddy (73)
Neil Lowry for Jamie Davidson (73)
Mark Surgenor for Gary Thompson (90)
Jordan Hughes for Michael Halliday (17)
Jordan Forsythe for David McCullough (68)
Scott Davidson for Aaron Traynor (83)

Michael Ruddy (69)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Colin Burns (Newtownabbey) (Referee)

Match Report

A SECOND HALF power cut failed to derail Ballymena United's surge to the summit of the Danske Bank Premiership as the Sky Blues powered to their second impressive home victory of the week.

The opening exchanges suggested the game would be a slow burner, but the torch was soon lit when David Cushley's explosive effort fizzed just wide of the of post after 12 minutes.

Electrical puns aside, the opening half hour was really nothing to write home about, a couple of Jamie Davidson efforts blocked smartly by Windrum in the Distillery goal. As the half wore on, United stepped up a gear with Ruddy and Teggert both going close, the latter striking the post from a corner.

Right on the stroke of half time, the deadlock was broken in somewhat controversial circumstances. A wasted Tony Kane free kick was inexplicably ordered to be retaken by referee Colin Burns. To the fury of Distillery boss Tim McCann, the retaken free kick, this time by David Cushley, took a nick off a visiting defender and nestled in the back of the net. McCann encroached onto the pitch to remonstrate with the officials but to no avail, United led at the break.

The Sky Blues came out after the break seemingly reinvigorated and determined to score the game killing goal. A well placed effort from Allan Jenkins forced a smart save out of Windrum before Cushley was unlucky not to double the advantage with a curling effort from the edge of the box. The visitors posed little threat, an array of corners and free kicks dealt with comfortably by Dwayne Nelson in the United goal.

Glenn Ferguson's double substitution – Neil Lowry and Gavin Taggart in place of Jamie Davidson and Michael Ruddy soon paid dividends. After an astonishing miss from barely a yard, Lowry made amends just a minute later with a low drive from inside the box which flew past the outstretched Windrum. The relief from the home stand was palpable, United had earned their second goal cushion which ensured the final few minutes would pass without the threat of a late equaliser.

Mark Surgenor entered the fray in place of the impressive Gary Thompson as Ferguson attempted to maintain United's two goal advantage. The home side could have in fact extended their lead further, when Allan Jenkins missed a free header from 6 yards after a corner from the left hand side.

The final whistled sounded to the delight of players and fans alike, Ballymena United are top of the table heading into the weekend!

The Sky Blues are back in action this Tuesday night away to Cliftonville (ko 7.45pm) when the team's impressive league standing will hopefully be maintained.

Match report written by Jordan Miller

Squad Statistics (as at August 31st, 2012)

2012-2013 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)27 5 - 123 -
Tony Kane25 4 - 322
David Munster33 5 - 354
Michael Ruddy19 5 - 5 -
Aaron Stewart22 4 - 1384
Jonathan Taylor24 5 - 181
Allan Jenkins30 514610
Alan Teggart25 3 - 457
Gary Thompson22 4141
David Cushley23 5 - 8512
Jamie Davidson18 52163
Mark Surgenor (sub)26 3 - 10611
Gavin Taggart (sub)27 2 - 893
Neil Lowry (sub)19 32162

League Table (as at August 31st, 2012)

Pld W D L Pts
1. BALLYMENA UTD 4 2 2 0 8
2. Coleraine 3 2 1 0 7
3. Dungannon 4 1 3 0 6
4. Ballinamallard Utd 3 1 2 0 5
5. Glentoran 3 1 2 0 5
6. Portadown 4 1 2 1 5
7. Cliftonville 3 1 2 0 5
8. Linfield 3 1 1 1 4
9. Crusaders 3 1 1 1 4
10. Glenavon 4 0 2 2 2
11. Donegal Celtic 4 0 2 2 2
12. Distillery 4 0 0 4 0