Ballymena United 2
Donegal Celtic 2
League (IFA Premiership)

Ballymena United
2 - 2
Donegal Celtic 

League (IFA Premiership)
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 441
3:00 PM Kick-off

David Cushley (31)
Tony Kane (44)
Kevin Hughes (69)
Sean Cleary (90)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Pat McAllister

Starting Eleven
1. Dwayne Nelson
6. Aaron Stewart
2. Tony Kane
15. Mark Surgenor
25. Mark McCullagh
17. Michael Ruddy
10. Allan Jenkins
12. Alan Teggart
7. Gary Thompson
11. David Cushley
14. Shane Dolan
John Connolly
Patrick McShane
Ciaran Burns
Conor Downey
Sean Cleary
Kevin Keegan
Mark Burns
Eamon Hughes
Stephen O'Neill
Ciaran Gargan
Mark Miskimmin

21. Jonathan Taylor
4. Richard Vauls
8. Gavin Taggart
19. Alan Davidson
9. Gary Liggett
Paul McAreavey
Kevin Hughes
Ryan Deans
Pearse Devine
Ciaran Carson

Gary Liggett for Shane Dolan (64)
Alan Davidson for Gary Thompson (64)
Gavin Taggart for Alan Teggart (88)
Paul McAreavey for Ciaran Gargan (46)
Kevin Hughes for Mark Burns (46)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Andrew Davey (Bangor) (Referee)

Match Report

A TWO goal half time lead was blown by wasteful Ballymena United on Saturday, as Donegal Celtic capitalised on some poor finishing to claw back the deficit and earn a point at the Showgrounds.

United threatened first, a stunning David Cushley strike from all of 25 yards struck the post on 21 minutes. The visitors responded through a surging run and chip from former Ballymena player Conor Downey, but the midfielder's effort flew harmlessly over the bar. DC striker Mark Miskimmin then fired over from inside the box after good build up play involving Stephen O'Neill.

On the half hour mark, Donegal Celtic had appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Andrew Davey, replays show however that Sean Cleary went to ground rather easily. This proved to be a game changing decision as United raced up the other end of the pitch and took the lead. Tony Kane's cross eventually found its way to David Cushley, who took a touch before rifling home to give his side the lead with 31 minutes on the clock.

The hosts doubled their lead on the stroke of half time, a precision free kick from dead ball specialist Tony Kane found its way into the bottom corner to give United a seemingly comfortable half time lead.

The visitors however, had other ideas. A resurgent second half performance saw them reduce the arrears on 69 minutes. A powerful effort from Mark Miskimmin stung the hands of United goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson, who parried the ball into the path of substitute Kevin Hughes to volley the ball into the goal from six yards.

Alan Teggert almost restored the two goal advantage moments later, but his strike was saved by DC goalkeeper John Connolly, after an impressive through ball by Alan Davidson. Teggert was again involved moments later, a cross into the box was astonishingly mis-kicked by both substitutes Alan Davidson and Gary Liggett, as a huge chance to put the game to bed went begging. Mark Miskimmin almost immediately made United pay for their benevolence, but Dwayne Nelson was on hand to save his eight yard volley.

Miskimmin was furious on 75 minutes when his appeal for a penalty was turned down, after a collision with Mark McCullagh. Again, replays show the referee made the correct decision. Two penalty appeals already turned down, you could sense the inevitable coming, and on 92nd minutes, referee Andrew Davey finally pointed the spot after the most nondescript of all the claims, Sean Cleary went to ground after apparently coming into contact with United skipper Allan Jenkins.

Cleary duly dispatched the penalty but was then comically sent off for a second bookable offence after removing his shirt to celebrate. In the end, this was two points dropped for Ballymena United who will be desperately disappointed at their inability to see out a two goal lead at home. Next up for the Sky Blues is a tricky looking fixture against in-from Glentoran at the Showgrounds next Saturday (3pm).

Match report written by Jordan Miller

Squad Statistics (as at March 2nd, 2013)

2012-2013 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)28 32 - 150 -
Michael Ruddy19 15 - 15 -
Tony Kane25 343625
Aaron Stewart23 2711615
Mark McCullagh25 3 - 3 -
Mark Surgenor27 26312914
Allan Jenkins31 2526611
Alan Teggart26 2977114
Gary Thompson22 355355
David Cushley23 34811420
Shane Dolan25 8282
Gavin Taggart (sub)28 2621135
Alan Davidson (sub)24 224317
Gary Liggett (sub)25 9191

League Table (as at March 2nd, 2013)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Cliftonville 29 22 4 3 70
2. Crusaders 28 17 5 6 56
3. Linfield 30 16 8 6 56
4. Glentoran 29 13 9 7 48
5. Coleraine 30 12 10 8 46
6. Ballinamallard Utd 30 13 5 12 44
7. Portadown 29 10 7 12 37
8. BALLYMENA UTD 30 8 11 11 35
9. Glenavon 30 8 5 17 29
10. Dungannon 29 6 11 12 29
11. Donegal Celtic 30 4 8 18 20
12. Distillery 28 3 5 20 14