Carrick Rangers 0
Ballymena United 4
League (NIFL Premiership)


Carrick 

0 - 4

Ballymena United


League (NIFL Premiership)
Tuesday, May 4th, 2021
Taylors Avenue
7:30 PM Kick-off


Goalscorers
None. Trai Hume (45)
Shay McCartan (pen.) (64)
Shay McCartan (89)
Joe McCready (90)

Team Managers
Niall Currie David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
18. Aaron Hogg
6. Caolan Loughran
7. Lee Chapman
11. Alex Gawne
16. Michael Smith
17. Steven Gordon
20. Kyle Cherry
23. Reece Glendinning
24. Jordan Gibson
42. Lloyd Anderson
55. Christopher Ramsey
Jordan Williamson .18
Jim Ervin .21
Trai Hume .20
Ross Redman .3
Kofi Balmer .19
Andrew McGrory .17
Leroy Millar .23
Joshua Kelly .26
Shay McCartan .15
Ryan Waide .16
Paul McElroy .14

Bench
28. Connor Friel
2. Curtis Forsythe
3. Reece Neale
26. Jack Millar
43. Jordan Jenkins
44. Corey McMullan
99. Cathair Friel
Jonathan Addis .4
Ryan Harpur .8
James Knowles .10
Sean Graham .27
Owen McKeown .6
Kenny Kane .12
Joe McCready .32

Substitutions
Corey McMullan for Kyle Cherry (63)
Curtis Forsythe for Lee Chapman (63)
Reece Neale for Alex Gawne (70)
Sean Graham for Ross Redman (84)
Joe McCready for Paul McElroy (84)
Kenny Kane for Ryan Waide (90)

Cautions
Steven Gordon (51) None.

Red Cards
Steven Gordon (63) None.

Match Officials

Ross Dunlop (Referee)
Paul Robinson & Ken Ross (Assistants)
Shane McGonigle (Fourth Official)






Match Report


Ballymena United kept up their fight for a seventh place finish with a handsome 4-0 win over Carrick Rangers at The Loughshore Hotel Arena on Tuesday evening.

Ballymena named an unchanged starting XI for the third game running after back to back wins over Dungannon and Glenavon, and they started well as Shay McCartan fired over and Paul McElroy forced a save out of Aaron Hogg at the near post early on.

As the rain began to fall United continued to dominate and control the game, but as is often the case at the Loughshore Hotel Arena, chances were at a premium. Ross Redman's typically dangerous crosses forced Hogg to come and clear on multiple occasions, but every time he was equal to it to deal with the danger. As the visitors tried to find a way through Carrick's stubborn defence, they had a good shout for a penalty turned down by referee Ross Dunlop after Michael Smith brought down McCartan in the box.

After a fairly lifeless first half, the Braidmen missed a huge chance at the tail end of the opening period as McElroy was denied by Hogg after finding space in the box, when he probably should've done better, but from the resulting corner all was forgotten as Ballymena broke the deadlock. Redman made it assist number twelve for the season as his corner was met by Trai Hume, who lost his marker and darted into the mouth of the goal to head home his third of the campaign and give United the perfect end to a quiet and often frustrating half.

Ballymena started the second half well and on fifty-two minutes McCartan's free kick from almost the touchline on the left hand side of the pitch caused Hogg to get across and stop the ball finding its way into the far top corner.

As the half progressed, Carrick were beginning to slowly find their way into the game, but like United were struggling with their final ball. However, Carrick were firmly stopped in their tracks on sixty-three minutes when the 'gers gave away a penalty and were reduced to ten men. A quick Sky Blue counter attack ended with McElroy being fouled by Steven Gordon in the box as he went to pull the trigger. With Gordon booked ten minutes beforehand he saw red, and for the third straight game Shay McCartan stepped up and fired home from the spot to hit sixteen for the season in all competitions.

The game hadn't exactly been edge of your seat stuff before McCartan doubled United's lead, but the stuffing seemed to have been knocked out of the hosts following the goal as an extremely quiet following fifteen minutes ensued. It mattered not to Ballymena who were more than happy to maintain their two goal lead and with five minutes to go David Jeffrey gave Sean Graham and Joe McCready a few minutes off the bench.

In those final few minutes Ballymena found time for two more goals as McCartan sprinkled some more magic to grab the third. In another solo stunner the forward created a yard or two of space for himself and after driving forward, out of nothing from outside the box he elegantly placed his shot into the bottom corner out of the reach of Hogg.

Shay McCartan looked determined to take the match ball home, but after he saw a long range effort saved by Hogg, the rebound saw a nice one-two between Josh Kelly and Joe McCready end with the latter firing the ball home, with Hogg unable to keep it out despite getting a good hand to it.

That wrapped up a 4-0 win for the Sky Blues, a scoreline that was harsh on the hosts after a tight contest for so long, but United won't complain as they made it three wins in a week.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (www.ballymenaunitedfc.com)



Squad Statistics (as at May 4th, 2021)


2020-2021 All Time
Age
Jordan Williamson (GK)25 22 - 38 -
Trai Hume19 323323
Kofi Balmer20 1641038
Jim Ervin35 18 - 2713
Ross Redman31 363363
Andrew McGrory29 11 - 8520
Joshua Kelly22 332654
Leroy Millar25 16218326
Ryan Waide21 322322
Shay McCartan26 34173417
Paul McElroy26 36133613
Sean Graham (sub)20 14 - 14 -
Joe McCready (sub)30 223274
Kenny Kane (sub)21 5 - 253



League Table (as at May 4th, 2021)


Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 33 22 4 7 70
2. Glentoran 33 18 9 6 63
3. Coleraine 33 18 8 7 62
4. Cliftonville 33 16 8 9 56
5. Larne 33 15 10 8 55
6. Crusaders 33 16 5 12 53
7. Glenavon 33 14 10 9 52
8. BALLYMENA UTD 33 13 7 13 46
9. Portadown 33 8 6 19 30
10. Warrenpoint Town 33 6 9 18 27
11. Carrick 34 5 8 21 23
12. Dungannon 34 4 4 26 16