Ballymena United 2
Portadown 0
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
2 - 0

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 835
3:00 PM Kick-off

Francis McCaffrey (59)
Francis McCaffrey (63)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Trevor Williamson

Starting Eleven
1. Ross Glendinning
4. Kyle Owens
21. Jim Ervin
2. Tony Kane
39. Adam McCracken
8. Gavin Taggart
12. William Faulkner
29. Francis McCaffrey
23. Leroy Millar
10. Allan Jenkins
14. Cathair Friel
Chris McGaughey .14
Brendan Shannon .2
Keith O'Hara .4
Garry Breen .6
Stephen Hughes .9
Tim Mouncey .11
Robert Garrett .20
Mark Carson .21
Aaron Haire .23
Alan Byrne .26
Zak Wilson .27

38. Ben McCauley
34. Caolan Loughran
25. Kyle Mackie
20. Neil Lowry
16. Matthew Shevlin
Eoin Kirwan .15
Matthew Parker .17
Sam Simpson .18
Nathaniel Ferris .22
Luke Wilson .35

Neil Lowry for Francis McCaffrey (78)
Matthew Shevlin for Neil Lowry (81)
Zak Wilson for Nathaniel Ferris (61)
Sam Simpson for Tim Mouncey (71)
Luke Wilson for Aaron Haire (86)

Adam McCracken (37)
Gavin Taggart (68)
Tim Mouncey (26)
Alan Byrne (35)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Keith Kennedy (Referee)
Stephen Bell & Ryan Kelsey (Assistants)
Declan Hassan (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Ballymena United got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Portadown at the Showgrounds this afternoon.

A minute's silence was observed before kick off to remember the victims of the Colombian plane crash, including the 19 members of Brazilian football team Chapecoense.

In a first half that wasn't exactly full of free flowing football, both sides found it extremely hard to create good openings for themselves. Ballymena could've went ahead just 4 minutes in when Cathair Friel's cross found Willie Faulkner, who didn't know too much about it, as the ball came off his head and over the bar. Just two minutes later,

Portadown had their first chance when the ball fell to Mark Carson on the edge of the box, but he fired over. It took until the final minutes of the half for either side to go close again. First up for United, Leroy Millar found space to get a shot away, but couldn't keep his shot down. Straight down the other end, Portadown went close as Aaron Haire's curling effort went just wide of the Sky Blue's goal.

Ballymena came out much better for the second half, after their sluggish first half performance. The Sky Blues couldn't quite find the chances to match their dominance of possession at the start of the half, but managed to get their reward on the 59th minute when they took the lead. A wonderful cross from Anthony Kane wasn't dealt with by Port's defender Alan Byrne and the ball fell to Francis McCaffrey who slammed the ball home from close range.

United continued to step up the pressure after their opener and almost doubled the advantage when the ball fell nicely for Kane on the edge of the box, but his curling attempt when just over the bar. However on 63 minutes Ballymena did add to their opener with a second goal. Francis McCaffrey finished off a delightful team move to double his tally for the day and also for the season. After a string of passes, Allan Jenkins found Leroy Millar who picked out Faulkner with a cross field ball. From there, Faulkner headed the ball onto McCaffrey who hit the ball on the move and beat Chris McGaughey in the Port's goal.

Portadown had their only real opportunity of the half on 69 minutes. Gavin Taggart was booked for a challenge and Brendan Shannon's effort from the free kick went narrowly wide of Ross Glendinning's goal, who was a spectator for the majority of the half.

On 78 minutes, Stephen Lowry came on to replace goal scorer McCaffrey, but Lowry himself was then taken off 2 minutes later with an injury, being replaced by Matthew Shevlin. With the last play of the game, Cathair Friel passed on an opportunity to find Adam McCracken, who was well placed to shot, and instead went for goal himself, forcing a good save out of McCaughey as the game finished 2-0.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at December 3rd, 2016)

2016-2017 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)23 12 - 12 -
Jim Ervin31 24 - 1022
Adam McCracken18 2 - 2 -
Tony Kane29 231021222
Kyle Owens24 244244
Gavin Taggart32 1 - 1766
Allan Jenkins35 23522848
William Faulkner26 2045310
Leroy Millar21 171352
Francis McCaffrey23 5252
Cathair Friel23 24152415
Neil Lowry (sub)23 6 - 583
Matthew Shevlin (sub)17 5 - 335

League Table (as at December 3rd, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Crusaders 19 13 5 1 25 44
2. Linfield 19 11 6 2 32 39
3. Cliftonville 19 12 2 5 14 38
4. BALLYMENA UTD 19 10 3 6 1 33
5. Coleraine 19 8 6 5 7 30
6. Glenavon 18 6 8 4 4 26
7. Dungannon Swifts 19 6 6 7 6 24
8. Glentoran 19 6 5 8 -9 23
9. Ards 19 6 3 10 -5 21
10. Ballinamallard Utd 18 3 3 12 -21 12
11. Carrick Rangers 19 3 3 13 -27 12
12. Portadown 19 3 2 14 -27 -1

* - Table split into two divisions of six.