Ballymena United 3
Warrenpoint Town 0
League (NIFL Premiership)


Ballymena United
3 - 0
Warrenpoint Town 

League (NIFL Premiership)
Tuesday, May 25th, 2021
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 423
7:45 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Shay McCartan (37)
Paul McElroy (44)
Leroy Millar (75)
None.

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Barry Gray

Starting Eleven
1. Ross Glendinning
22. Conor Keeley
3. Ross Redman
21. Jim Ervin
20. Trai Hume
26. Joshua Kelly
27. Sean Graham
23. Leroy Millar
16. Ryan Waide
15. Shay McCartan
14. Paul McElroy
Andrew Coleman .21
Colm Deasy .2
Steven Ball .3
Dermot McVeigh .6
Kealan Dillon .7
Alan O'Sullivan .9
Luke Gallagher .11
Ryan Swan .15
Stuart Hutchinson .22
Daniel Wallace .23
Brandon Doyle .27

Bench
4. Jonathan Addis
2. Tony Kane
10. James Knowles
6. Owen McKeown
8. Ryan Harpur
28. Ben Wylie
12. Kenny Kane
Gabriel Sava .1
Ben Mullen .14
Kris Cowan .18
Daniel Byrne .25
Dylan Quinn .30
David Forsythe .31

Substitutions
Owen McKeown for Trai Hume (79)
Jonathan Addis for Ross Redman (85)
None.

Cautions
None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Chris Morrison (Referee)
Ryan Kelsey & John Doherty (Assistants)
Niall Gallagher (Fourth Official)




Match Report


Ballymena United marked the long awaited return of supporters to the Showgrounds with a 3-0 win over Warrenpoint on Tuesday evening to keep their European hopes alive.

With the Sky Blue faithful finally welcomed back into the Showgrounds for the first time in 2021, United made one change from the disappointment of last Tuesday's Irish Cup semi defeat as Trai Hume came back in for Andy McGrory.

Warrenpoint started brightly, but Ballymena soon got their foot on the ball and Shay McCartan had two chances early on. First, the forward showed off his typical quick feet before firing just over on the edge of the box, and shortly afterwards he saw a free kick from twenty yards parried out by Point 'keeper Andy Coleman.

The Braidmen came agonisingly close to leading on eighteen minutes when a quick free kick routine found Ryan Waide, and his shot across goal looked set to be tapped home by Conor Keeley, only for Luke Gallagher to get a vital touch at the back post.

After those earlier chances, not much of a game broke out for the fans returning to live football for the first time in five months. If anything, it was Warrenpoint who were slowly growing back into the game, with United's biggest outlet coming from the bright and involved Waide.

Finally the crowd had something to cheer about on thirty-seven minutes as Ballymena broke the deadlock through Shay McCartan's 20th goal of the season. The goal came from fantastic work by Trai Hume, who charged down the right wing before crossing. His cross was awkward for Waide who failed to control the ball, but McCartan was behind him to brush the ball home from close range.

Warrenpoint's first real chance came when Alan O'Sullivan flashed a shot just wide from inside the box after a tidy lay-off, but a minute from the break the hosts made it 2-0. A Ross Redman corner was cleared as far as Hume, who put the ball back into the six yard box with a stunning acrobatic effort, and waiting there was Paul McElroy who flicked a header home.

There was almost time for a third when Leroy Millar's ball across goal was turned just over his own crossbar by Danny Wallace, but United took a healthy two goal lead into the break.

The second half was an extremely slow burner with neither side able to conjure up even half a chance in the opening twenty minutes. The play was arguably coming more from the visitors, but they lacked that bit of quality to be able to work Ross Glendinning in the home goal. At the other end, a lovely Ballymena move ended with Waide somehow turning a Hume cross over from close range, but the flag went up anyway for a tight offside in the build up.

The game was put beyond doubt fifteen minutes from time when United made it 3-0 with one of their first efforts of the half. A delightful long ball forward from Keeley found McElroy down the right flank, and he played the ball across into the box for Leroy Millar, who curled a neat effort out of the reach of Coleman at the far post.

Waide's performance deserved a goal and the striker had a go quickly after Millar's third when he met McCartan's cross, but with the ball behind him Waide struck well over.

Jonny Addis and Owen McKeown came on late in the day for Ross Redman and Trai Hume respectively, but for Ballymena they comfortably did enough over the course of the ninety minutes to ease past Warrenpoint to the delight of the returning fans, and stay in the hunt for 7th spot in Saturday evening's season finale.

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



Squad Statistics (as at May 25th, 2021)


2020-2021 All Time
Age
Ross Glendinning (GK)28 15 - 157 -
Trai Hume19 365365
Jim Ervin35 23 - 2763
Conor Keeley23 183183
Ross Redman31 413413
Leroy Millar25 21418828
Joshua Kelly22 382704
Sean Graham20 16 - 16 -
Shay McCartan27 39203920
Ryan Waide21 374374
Paul McElroy26 41164116
Jonathan Addis (sub)28 2111016
Owen McKeown (sub)23 14 - 14 -



League Table (as at May 25th, 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 Rangers 34 5 8 21 23
12. Dungannon Swifts 34 4 4 26 16