2 - 4
League (IFA Premiership)
David Howland (35)
Andrew Waterworth (77)
Gary McCutcheon (61)
Gary McCutcheon (71)
Allan Jenkins (82)
Gary McCutcheon (84)
Wayne Drummond .20
Tony Kane .2
Liam Watson .22
Aaron Stewart .6
Denver Gage .5
Mark Surgenor .13
Alan Teggart .12
Allan Jenkins .10
Jordan Baker .14
James Costello .17
Gary McCutcheon .9
Christopher Rodgers .26
Richard Vauls .4
Conor Downey .15
Eamonn Murray .7
Michael Smith .19
|Andrew Waterworth for Gary Hamilton (72)||
Conor Downey for Liam Watson (70)
Christopher Rodgers for Mark Surgenor (81)
|Gary Hamilton (69)||
Mark Surgenor (75)
Mark Courtney (Dungannon) (Referee)
A PULSATING second half performance from Ballymena United produced a stunning victory over Glentoran at the Oval on Saturday.
Still hurting from their five goal mauling from rivals Coleraine last week, Roy Walker's Ballymena United side were still keen to defend their 100% away record so far this season.
It was the East Belfast Glens that shaded the first half as after having calls for a penalty when Jim O'Hanlon was tripped by Aaron Stewart in the penalty area and Sean Ward's long range effort was tipped over by Wayne Drummond - they managed to take the lead on 35 minutes.
Stephen Carson's corner was headed goalbound by Jimmy Callacher and whilst standing in front of goalkeeper Drummond, David Howland flicked the ball into the goal from two yards out to open the scoring.
The Sky Blues did have their chances in the first half as James Costello was thwarted by the feet of Elliott Morris before the goal and then late in the half captain Allan Jenkins could have maybe done better when he bore through the defence and hit his shot straight at the outrushing Morris.
Into the second half and just after the hour, the Sky Blues drew level after a melee in the penalty area; Allan Jenkins' shot was only blocked into the path of Gary McCutcheon, who from the tightest of angles drilled a shot past Nixon and Morris and into the bottom corner.
Suddenly it was game on and the Skies took the lead on 71 minutes when the impressive James Costello floated an inch perfect cross from the right flank to the back post and McCutcheon again outjumped his marker to nod home a simple header.
That lead only lasted six minutes though as a through ball to substitute Andy Waterworth down the left flank created the chance and after beating Denver Gage for pace the former Hamilton striker fired under Drummond to bring the scores level once again.
United showed their typical away day determination though and McCutcheon turned provided on 82 minutes when he turned Ward and delievered a superb left footed cross which was met by the head of captain Allan Jenkins for his first goal in United colours since his move from Morton in the summer.
Two minutes later it was game over as Jenkins' long ball wasn't dealt with by Sean Ward who allowed McCutcheon enough time to barge him off the ball and cooly finish past Morris for his 12th goal in 11 games this season and secure his first hat-trick for Ballymena United.
A fantastic victory at the Oval yet again for United, but as many will be aware the true test will come next Saturday at the Showgrounds against Dungannon Swifts where the home form will have to improve if the Sky Blues want to progress.
Match report written by Official Ballymena United website
|Wayne Drummond (GK)||19||3||-||3||-|
|Christopher Rodgers (sub)||20||6||-||6||-|
|Conor Downey (sub)||29||4||-||4||-|
* - Table split into two divisions of six.