Ballymena United 4
Ballinamallard United 0
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
4 - 0
Ballinamallard Utd 

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, October 29th, 2016
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 744
3:00 PM Kick-off

Jonathan McMurray (33)
Denver Gage (48)
Jonathan McMurray (50)
Cathair Friel (68)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Gavin Dykes

Starting Eleven
1. Ross Glendinning
6. Denver Gage
21. Jim Ervin
4. Kyle Owens
5. Jonathan Flynn
2. Tony Kane
3. Stephen McBride
12. William Faulkner
10. Allan Jenkins
27. Jonathan McMurray
14. Cathair Friel
James McGrath
Liam McMenamin
Ross Taheny
Steve Feeney
Shane McCabe
Ryan McConnell
Shane McGinty
Johnny Lafferty
Jason McCartney
Adam Lecky
Ryan Mayse

38. Ben McCauley
34. Caolan Loughran
11. Conor McCloskey
15. Eoin Kane
9. Darren Henderson
Stefan McCusker
Joshua McIlwaine
Callum Frempong
Jordan Cadden
Ben McCann

Conor McCloskey for Stephen McBride (77)
Eoin Kane for Tony Kane (81)
Darren Henderson for Jonathan McMurray (86)
Callum Frempong for Shane McCabe (69)
Ben McCann for Ryan McConnell (72)
Joshua McIlwaine for Adam Lecky (79)

Stephen McBride (65)
Liam McMenamin (56)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Ross Dunlop (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United got back to winning ways with a comfortable 4-0 over Ballinamallard at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

Despite a relatively quiet first half in terms of chances, Ballymena started the game well, with Johnny McMurray being teed up inside the first minute, but he sliced his shot wide. Five minutes later Ballinamallard had their first opening when Ross Glendinning saved well from Ryan Mayse. The Mallards again went close on 21 minutes as striker Adam Lecky had his looping header drift inches past Glendinning's post. Shortly after, up the other end, Denver Gage was denied by Ballinamallard 'keeper James McGrath, who tipped his effort over the bar.

The opening goal of the game came on 32 minutes courtesy of McMurray. Stephen McBride and Cathair Friel worked well down the left hand side, before Friel's cross was beautifully glanced home by McMurray into the bottom corner of the goal.

Ballinamallard reacted well to the goal as Johnny Flynn was forced to clear the ball of the line before Mayse was again denied as his volley from the edge of the box was well stopped by Glendinning.

Ballymena came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and doubled their advantage just 3 minutes after the break. Anthony Kane whipped in a corner and the ball was met by Denver Gage, who powerfully headed home his first goal of the season after a lengthy injury layoff.

2 minutes later the Sky Blues netted a third to almost put the game out of sight. Good play from United saw the ball fall to Friel on the halfway line, and in a 2 on 1 situation, Friel ran on to find McMurray who scored with a first time shot.

McMurray was unlucky not to bag a hat trick on 56 minutes. Ballinamallard conceded a free kick 20 yards out and McMurray stepped up but had his shot deflected onto the crossbar by the Mallard's wall.

In a rare Ballinamallard chance in the second half, Jason McCartney found himself in acres of space at the left post, but his effort glided past the post. On the hour mark, Friel broke through to find himself 1 on 1 with McGrath, but the goalkeeper did well to stop the shot and put the ball out for a corner. 8 minutes later, Friel was again presented with a chance that left him with just McGrath to beat, but this time Friel scored, with the help of the post, to give United a fourth goal of the afternoon. It was the striker's 8th league goal of the season.

The game was a quiet affair from there on in, with both sides appearing to accept the score line. In added time, substitute Conor McCloskey could've added a fifth goal, but his effort was well saved by McGrath. The positive result sees Ballymena avoid three defeats in a week and gets the season back on track.

Match report written by Phillip McPeake

Squad Statistics (as at October 29th, 2016)

2016-2017 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)23 6 - 6 -
Stephen McBride33 3 - 861
Jonathan Flynn26 6 - 211
Jim Ervin31 17 - 952
Kyle Owens24 173173
Tony Kane29 16820520
Denver Gage29 11452
Allan Jenkins35 16522148
William Faulkner26 132468
Jonathan McMurray22 158158
Cathair Friel23 17111711
Conor McCloskey (sub)24 152152
Eoin Kane (sub)20 6 - 402
Darren Henderson (sub)30 3 - 9725

League Table (as at October 29th, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Crusaders 13 9 3 1 21 30
2. Linfield 13 7 5 1 18 26
3. Cliftonville 14 8 1 5 9 25
4. Coleraine 14 6 6 2 8 24
5. BALLYMENA UTD 13 7 3 3 3 24
6. Glenavon 13 5 5 3 4 20
7. Ards 14 6 2 6 0 20
8. Dungannon 14 4 5 5 7 17
9. Glentoran 14 5 2 7 -9 17
10. Ballinamallard Utd 14 3 2 9 -16 11
11. Carrick 14 1 2 11 -26 5
12. Portadown 14 3 0 11 -19 -3

* - Table split into two divisions of six.