Ballymena United 0
Carrick Rangers 1
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
0 - 1

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, September 17th, 2022
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 966
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. David Cushley (51)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Stuart King

Starting Eleven
1. Jordan Williamson
22. Conor Keeley
5. Scot Whiteside
30. Michael Place
8. Joshua Kelly
18. Jordan Gibson
24. Sean Graham
12. Kenny Kane
19. David Parkhouse
7. David McDaid
9. Paul McElroy
Ross Glendinning .1
Kurtis Forsythe .2
Jim Ervin .5
Steven Gordon .6
David Cushley .7
Andrew Mitchell .8
Emmett McGuckin .9
Alex Gawne .11
Reece Glendinning .23
Ben Tilney .39
Lloyd Anderson. 42

21. Sean O'Neill
6. Caolan Loughran
11. Steven McCullough
3. Ross Redman
23. Jake Corbett
25. George Tipton
10. Ryan Waide
Aaron Hogg. 18
Mark Surgenor .4
Ronan Kalla .14
Kyle Cherry .20
Peter McKiernan .24
Paul Waite .27
Aodhan Gillen .29

Sean O'Neill for Jordan Williamson (19)
Steven McCullough for David Parkhouse (52)
Ross Redman for Sean Graham (76)
Ryan Waide for Paul McElroy (76)
Kyle Cherry for David Cushley (65)
Peter McKiernan for Alex Gawne (89)
Ronan Kalla for Lloyd Anderson (90)

David Parkhouse (49)
Michael Place (68)
Sean Graham (73)
Jim Ervin(12)
David Cushley (16)
Steven Gordon (53)
Andrew Mitchell (61)
Kurtis Forsythe (71)
Lloyd Anderson (85)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steven Gregg (Referee)
Kristian Hanna & Gavin Hegarty (Assistants)
Ross Dunlop (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Ballymena United had a disappointing return to league action when a David Cushley strike gave Carrick a 1-0 win in a poor home performance at the Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon.

Prior to kick-off on Warden Street, Ballymena United paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a minute silence ahead of the state funeral on Monday, and it was observed impeccably by everyone involved with both sides.

After needing extra time to get past Ards on Wednesday night, David Jeffrey MBE made four changes that included a return from injury for Conor Keeley, whilst Scot Whiteside took the place of Kym Nelson in the starting XI after Nelson picked up an injury in the warm up.

United's recent form against the 'Gers has flattered to deceive in recent times, despite a 3-0 win in their last encounter, and signs of struggle were there again in a poor performance from near enough the off.

After a quiet opening twelve minutes, Ballymena won themselves a penalty when former United skipper Jim Ervin brought down David McDaid in the box. After McDaid missed a spot kick during the week, Paul McElroy stepped up for this one, but the tone was set for the day when Ross Glendinning went the right way to keep the weak spot kick out.

The Sky Blues had more to contend with on twenty minutes when Jordan Williamson, making his first start this season in the league, received news of his partner having gone into labour, and as Williamson made way, Sean O'Neill took the gloves.

Five minutes after coming on O'Neill had the first save to make for any 'keeper bar the penalty, but he easily held onto Alex Gawne's long-range effort, before at the other end David Parkhouse provided a neat turn before sending his own lengthy attempt just wide.

With five minutes to go until the break and neither team looking like creating more than the odd chance, the hosts had a huge let off when Emmett McGuckin found himself free in the six-yard box to meet a cross, but when he probably had to score, he somehow glanced the ball wide, as a disappointing half of football ended scoreless.

The second forty-five couldn't have started much worse as a Ben Tilney shot deflected wide off of Lloyd Anderson, before Cushley came back to haunt his old side with the game's only goal on fifty-two minutes. A long ball was flicked into the box by McGuckin and after it failed to drop for Gawne it sat up nicely for David Cushley, who buried his first time shot from just inside the box into the bottom corner past O'Neill.

Despite falling behind United still had plenty of time to turn it around, but already it felt like the Sky Blues could possibly play all weekend and fail to find the back of the net. Steven McCullough returned from suspension to replace Parkhouse straight after the goal, with Joshua Kelly needing help in the middle with a stretched midfield, and on the hour mark Jordan Gibson, who was pushed further up following the change, headed a Kenneth Kane cross over at the back post.

As time ticked on United's frustration showed as Michael Place and Sean Graham entered the referee's book, with Place's card in particular leaving the home stand bemused. As the home side looked to try and find anything to get them back into the game, little was happening and Carrick were carrying some threat the other way, as Andy Mitchell fired over from distance and Gawne headed just wide at the back post.

In the final five minutes Ballymena had two of their better chances all day to try and grab a point late on, but substitute Ross Redman headed a corner over before McDaid rather summed up the day when under little pressure, he headed a McCullough cross over.

A fourth straight league defeat for the Braidmen in a day when there wasn't much that went right against a Carrick side not at their best, and improvements will be needed ahead of a tough run of fixtures.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at September 17th, 2022)

2022-2023 All Time
Jordan Williamson (GK)27 3 - 72 -
Scot Whiteside25 7 - 621
Conor Keeley24 41619
Michael Place24 7 - 263
Jordan Gibson27 8181
Joshua Kelly23 82956
Sean Graham21 4 - 42 -
David McDaid31 8383
Kenny Kane23 61688
Paul McElroy28 719632
David Parkhouse22 81318
Sean O'Neill (sub) (GK)34 6 - 38 -
Steven McCullough (sub)28 5 - 1758
Ross Redman (sub)32 6 - 914
Ryan Waide (sub)22 4 - 849

League Table (as at September 17th, 2022)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Glentoran 6 5 1 0 16
2. Cliftonville 6 5 0 1 15
3. Crusaders 6 4 1 1 13
4. Coleraine 6 4 0 2 12
5. Larne 5 3 2 0 11
6. Carrick 6 3 1 2 10
7. Linfield 5 3 0 2 9
8. Newry 6 2 0 4 6
9. Glenavon 6 1 2 3 5
10. BALLYMENA 6 1 1 4 4
11. Portadown 6 0 0 6 0
12. Dungannon 6 0 0 6 0