Cliftonville 2
Ballymena United 0
League (Premiership)


2 - 0

Ballymena United

League (Premiership)
Saturday, November 26th, 2016
Attendance: 1,062
3:00 PM Kick-off

James Knowles (25)
Jude Winchester (54)

Team Managers
Gerard Lyttle David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
Peter Burke
Levi Ives
Caoimhin Bonner
Jason McGuinness
James Knowles
Ruairi Harkin
David McDaid
Stephen Garrett
Daniel Hughes
Jude Winchester
Tomas Cosgrove
Ross Glendinning .1
Adam McCracken .39
Jim Ervin .21
Tony Kane .2
Kyle Owens .4
Caolan Loughran .34
Allan Jenkins .10
Leroy Millar .23
William Faulkner .12
Conor McCloskey .11
Cathair Friel .14

Martin Donnelly
Ryan Catney
Ross Lavery
Aaron Donnelly
Chris Curran
Ben McCauley .38
Kyle McVey .22
Francis McCaffrey .29
Kyle Mackie .25
Neil Lowry .20

Ryan Catney for Ruairi Harkin (45)
Ross Lavery for Daniel Hughes (69)
Martin Donnelly for Jude Winchester (82)
Francis McCaffrey for Conor McCloskey (41)
Kyle Mackie for Cathair Friel (80)
Neil Lowry for William Faulkner (83)

Ryan Catney (66) Adam McCracken (56)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Tim Marshall (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United were beaten for the second week in a row, losing 2-0 to Cliftonville at Solitude.

The game's first real chance came on 10 minutes for Cliftonville when Davy McDaid headed just wide from a Ives cross. Inside the next 10 minutes, United had two opportunities. The first saw the ball fall kindly to Tony Kane on the edge of the box, but he couldn't keep his effort under the bar. Then, from a similar position, Conor McCloskey had a chance with a well hit volley, but it was blocked behind for a corner.

Cliftonville took the lead on 24 minutes courtesy of a controversial penalty. Kyle Owens was judged to have handled the ball inside the box, although a corner was initially given. After a lengthy delay, the officials changed their minds and awarded a penalty, which was dispatched down the middle by James Knowles.
Before the break, Ballymena pushed for an equaliser, with McCloskey and Owens going close. On 29 minutes McCloskey flashed a shot just wide of Peter Burke's goal. Unfortunately for McCloskey, he suffered an injury and was replaced by Fra McCaffrey in the 41st minute.

Right at the end of the half Leroy Millar had a free kick blocked and the rebound fell to Owens, but his shot was blocked, on the line.

Ballymena came out brightly at the start of the second half, as Cathair Friel went close just 4 minutes in. A beautiful ball from the back by Caolan Loughran presented Friel with the chance, but Burke was on hand to tip the shot round the post.

However on 54 minutes, Cliftonville doubled their advantage. Poor United defending allowed McDaid to be played in completely unmarked, and the striker squared the ball across goal for Jude Winchester to put home for Cliftonville's second. 10 minutes later Winchester was presented with another chance, but this time his effort went just wide.

As Ballymena probed for a way back into the game, a dangerous Tony Kane free kick past by everyone in the box, with only the slightest of touches need to get a goal back.

The game continued to flow with a period of end to end action. A wonderful Owens blocked stopped McDaid making it three on 70 minutes, and at the other end, Willie Faulkner was denied by the post. Two minutes later substitute Fra McCaffrey went close with an attempted lob of Burke, but the goalkeeper was able to get his fingertips to it. On 77 minutes, Cliftonville goalkeeper Burke went down injured and Allan Jenkins could've taken advantage, but instead showed great sportsmanship in trying to kick the ball out of play, only for Cliftonville to play on, causing heated discussions that saw Loughran go down holding his face.

From there on, the Sky Blues tried to find a goal but couldn't manage a breakthrough, with McCaffrey and Leroy Millar shooting wide, whilst Ross Glendinning was called into action to stop Ross Lavery at the other end, as the game finished 2-0.

Match report written by Phillip McPeake

Squad Statistics (as at November 26th, 2016)

2016-2017 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)23 11 - 11 -
Kyle Owens24 234234
Adam McCracken18 1 - 1 -
Tony Kane29 221021122
Caolan Loughran21 161181
Jim Ervin31 23 - 1012
Conor McCloskey24 162162
Allan Jenkins35 22522748
William Faulkner26 1945210
Leroy Millar21 161342
Cathair Friel23 23152315
Francis McCaffrey (sub)23 4 - 4 -
Kyle Mackie (sub)22 3 - 3 -
Neil Lowry (sub)23 5 - 573

League Table (as at November 26th, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Crusaders 18 13 4 1 25 43
2. Linfield 18 10 6 2 29 36
3. Cliftonville 18 11 2 5 13 35
4. Coleraine 18 8 6 4 8 30
5. BALLYMENA UTD 18 9 3 6 -1 30
6. Glenavon 17 6 8 3 5 26
7. Glentoran 18 6 4 8 -9 22
8. Dungannon 18 5 6 7 5 21
9. Ards 18 6 2 10 -5 20
10. Carrick Rangers 18 3 3 12 -24 12
11. Ballinamallard Utd 17 3 2 12 -21 11
12. Portadown 18 3 2 13 -25 -1

* - Table split into two divisions of six.