Ballymena United 0
Glentoran 0
League (IFA Premiership)

Ballymena United
0 - 0

League (IFA Premiership)
Saturday, March 9th, 2013
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 925
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. None.

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Eddie Patterson

Starting Eleven
1. Dwayne Nelson
6. Aaron Stewart
27. Shaun Maher
15. Mark Surgenor
25. Mark McCullagh
16. David Munster
2. Tony Kane
12. Alan Teggart
10. Allan Jenkins
9. Gary Liggett
11. David Cushley
Aaron Hogg
Colin Nixon
Jason Hill
Sean Ward
Jimmy Callacher
David Howland
Richard Clarke
Stephen Carson
Stephen McAlorum
Jim O'Hanlon
Andrew Waterworth

4. Richard Vauls
7. Gary Thompson
8. Gavin Taggart
22. Peter Duffin
26. James McCabe
Kevin Bradley
Martin Murray
Carl McComb
Calum Birney

Gary Thompson for Mark McCullagh (62)
Peter Duffin for Gary Liggett (74)
Kevin Bradley for Sean Ward (37)
Martin Murray for Stephen Carson (76)
Carl McComb for David Howland (87)

David Munster (50)
David Howland (55)

Red Cards
David Cushley (79)
Match Officials

Colin Burns (Newtownabbey) (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United shared the spoils with Glentoran on a sticky Showgrounds pitch today following a scrappy goalless draw with few clear-cut chances for either side.

After a bright start from the visitors, the Glens were the first to threaten. Jim O'Hanlon dribbled down the right wing and fired a dangerous ball across the face of goal on 9 minutes, but striker Andy Waterworth was unable to get his head to it. Ballymena were next to threaten, with David Cushley's rasping 25 yard strike being punched over by Aaron Hogg.

The home side began to dominate the game, with the east Belfast outfit struggling to push up the field. Shaun Maher headed over from 6 yards on 39 minutes, before Tony Kane produced a carbon-copy of Cushley's earlier effort on 44 mins that was pushed away by Hogg. Glentoran might have went into the break in the lead, however Stephen Carson's effort in injury time was tame and straight at Dwayne Nelson in the United goal.

Following a forgettable first half, the second did improve. The away side had a penalty claim turned down on 49 minutes when Colin Nixon claimed to have been pushed in the United box as he tried to get on the end of a cross, but referee Colin Burns waved the protests away.

Ballymena were now camped in their own half, so United manager Glenn Ferguson attempted to tilt the game in his side's favour by introducing Gary Thompson and Peter Duffin for Mark McCullagh and Gary Liggett respectively, however Glentoran had another penalty shout on 70 minutes when Stephen McAlorum appeared to be hauled to the ground in the United area, but again Burns was unimpressed.

Glentoran were now dominating possession and creating the better opportunities, limiting the Sky Blues to efforts from distance. With 12 minutes left, Ballymena were reduced to ten men after Cushley received his second yellow card for a late challenge on Jimmy Callacher. Now with the advantage of an extra man, the Glens sensed that this was their chance and they should have went ahead on 84 minutes. Waterworth floated a delightful ball to the back post, however David Howland fluffed his lines and headed wide from two yards out!

Ballymena were now defending for their lives, and Nelson - who had been injured earlier in the game and seemed to be in some distress for most of the second half - made a superb save from Waterworth's attempted lob when the big striker was sent through. With 3 minutes later, the same player powered through the United defence, only to see his effort ripple the side-netting.

As the clock ticked deep into injury time, substitute Peter Duffin - who had been superb since his introduction - was sent down the right wing. As Duffin and Jason Hill battled for possession, the Glentoran fullback appeared to drag Duffin to the ground, but this time it was United fans who were incensed when Burns waved their penalty claims away. Glentoran might have snatched it with the final kick of the game. Carl McComb latched onto a knock down from Colin Nixon, but the young striker fired his volley straight into the grateful hands of Dwayne Nelson.

In the end a relatively fair result in a scrappy game of few chances that either side might have won right at the death. Next up for the Sky Blues is a difficult trip to Shamrock Park to play Ronnie McFall's Portadown on Saturday (3pm).

Match report written by Sam Braik

Squad Statistics (as at March 9th, 2013)

2012-2013 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)28 33 - 151 -
David Munster34 331635
Shaun Maher34 4 - 4 -
Aaron Stewart23 2811625
Mark McCullagh25 4 - 4 -
Tony Kane25 353635
Mark Surgenor27 27313014
Alan Teggart26 3077214
Allan Jenkins31 2626711
Gary Liggett25 101101
David Cushley23 35811520
Gary Thompson (sub)22 365365
Peter Duffin (sub)18 8 - 8 -

League Table (as at March 9th, 2013)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Cliftonville 30 23 4 3 73
2. Crusaders 29 18 5 6 59
3. Linfield 31 16 9 6 57
4. Glentoran 30 13 10 7 49
5. Ballinamallard Utd 31 14 5 12 47
6. Coleraine 31 12 10 9 46
7. Portadown 30 11 7 12 40
8. BALLYMENA UTD 31 8 12 11 36
9. Glenavon 31 8 5 18 29
10. Dungannon 30 6 11 13 29
11. Donegal Celtic 31 4 8 19 20
12. Distillery 29 3 6 20 15