Coleraine 3
Ballymena United 1
League (NIFL Premiership)


Coleraine 

3 - 1

Ballymena United


League (NIFL Premiership)
Tuesday, March 7th, 2023
Coleraine Showgrounds
Attendance: 2,642
7:45 PM Kick-off


Goalscorers
Jamie Glackin (30)
Conor McKendry (41)
Joshua Carson (55)
Joshua Kelly (35)

Team Managers
Oran Kearney David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
1. Gareth Deane
2. Lyndon Kane
3. Dean Jarvis
7. Conor McKendry
11. Joshua Carson
14. Kieran Farren
15. Stephen O'Donnell
16. Lee Lynch
17. Jamie Glackin
25. Conor McDermott
26. Matthew Shevlin
Jordan Williamson .1
Scot Whiteside .5
Craig Farquhar .35
Steven McCullough .11
Robert McVarnock .20
Joshua Kelly .8
Sean Graham .24
Jack Henderson .14
Kym Nelson .2
David McDaid .7
Kenny Kane .12

Bench
20. Martin Gallagher
4. Adam Mullan
6. Aaron Jarvis
10. Michael McCrudden
13. Eamon Fyfe
21. Jack O'Mahony
29. Andrew Scott
Ross Redman .3
Jordan Gibson .18
Andrew McGrory .17
Michael Place .30
Nathan Clarke .34
George Tipton .25
Ryan Waide .10

Substitutions
Jack O'Mahony for Conor McKendry (57)
Andrew Scott for Jamie Glackin (57)
Aaron Jarvis for Lee Lynch (76)
Michael McCrudden for Joshua Carson (76)
Eamon Fyfe for Matthew Shevlin (82)
Ryan Waide for Jack Henderson (46)
Jordan Gibson for Kym Nelson (62)
Andrew McGrory for Sean Graham (76)
Michael Place for Joshua Kelly (76)

Cautions
Jamie Glackin (31)
Andrew Scott (85)
Gareth Deane (88)
Scot Whiteside (36)
Steven McCullough (90)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Andrew Davey (Referee)
Stephen Donaldson & George Argyropoulos (Assistants)
Christopher Morrison (Fourth Official)





Match Report


Problems in both boxes cost Ballymena United in the final A26 derby of the season as they went down 3-1 to Coleraine in a good encounter on a wintry Tuesday evening at the Coleraine Showgrounds.

Ahead of the fourth derby of the season, David Jeffrey named an unchanged side from Saturday's Irish Cup win at Ballyclare, on what was seven years to the day since he took over the Warden Street hotseat.

In the first of three away games in seven days to top six opposition, United started well on a bitterly cold night in Coleraine, yet could've been behind just over five minutes in when Matthew Shevlin latched onto a through ball to go in one on one, but Jordan Williamson was exceptional in making the save, before the same man denied Conor McKendry moments later.

The Sky Blues' first effort on goal came twelve minutes in as they finally turned some decent play into a chance, but David McDaid saw a long shot saved and parried by Gareth Deane, who just about gathered the rebound ahead of Joshua Kelly. On the half hour mark McKendry again forced Williamson into a good save round his post, but from the resulting corner the Bannsiders opened the scoring. A short corner caught United off guard and when it was played into the box to Jamie Glackin, he avoided a tackle or two before curling an effort in, before seeing himself booked for a provocative celebration in front of the away support.

Despite not creating much with their final ball, Ballymena were knocking the ball about a lot better than in recent games, so an equaliser from the skipper Kelly just four minutes after falling behind was more than deserved. The away side switched play nicely to Robert McVarnock after a good move, and he did well to dance his way into the box past a few in blue and white. Eventually, the ball ricocheted to Joshua Kelly, and his first time hit on the edge of the box flew past Deane in a fine finish to level it.

Parity stayed for just seven minutes as the hosts retook the lead four minutes before the break in another poor goal to concede. Glackin advanced down the left unchallenged before sliding a ball into Conor McKendry in the box, but from a tight angle he too was given time, and he lifted the ball over Williamson, past a sliding Kym Nelson, and into the back of the net.

The story of United's first half was more than impressive at times, but ultimately disappointing in both boxes. At the break Ryan Waide replaced Jack Henderson, and four minutes into the half McDaid could've had Ballymena level. Kenneth Kane showed great strength to retain the ball down the left before swinging it in for McDaid, who took it down but fired straight at Deane.

On fifty-three minutes the Braidmen thought they were level when McDaid turned Stephen O'Donnell on the by line and his cross went in off Deane, but the joy was short lived when the officials adjudged the ball to have gone out of play beforehand, to the disagreement of those behind the goal. That disappointment was compounded in Coleraine's next attack as they again did what United couldn't and made their attacks count with a third. The attack didn't look too threatening until Dean Jarvis crossed from the left after carrying the ball a distance, and he picked out Josh Carson who wasn't picked up in the box, and he had a fairly easy task in poking the ball home at close range.

It was almost four not long after when Nelson passed straight to Shevlin close to his own box, who in turn played in Lyndon Kane, but again Williamson came out on top. Ballymena were still plugging away, again failing to supplement good play with an end product, but they couldn't have come closer to getting one back twenty minutes from time.

The adventurous as ever McVarnock skipped down the right and fired in a low ball, which O'Donnell turned onto his own post, before the follow up for substitute Jordan Gibson was blocked at close range, with a third effort coming off McDaid but onto the roof of the net.

More chances came as McDaid fired over before a Kane cross found Waide who rifled his first effort straight at Deane, before skewing the rebound wide, as the Skies were doing everything but score.

After Coleraine had eventually curtailed the visiting pressure, they almost wrapped the game up when Conor McDermott fired just wide, before substitute Andrew Scott looked to have scored when he was played through on goal, only to hit it past Williamson but off the crossbar ten minutes from time.

The chances dried up in the final stages as Coleraine saw out a 3-1 win, but as for United, there was plenty of good in there, in their best showing this season in a game they've lost, but ultimately they lacked a cutting edge in and around one box, and were too sloppy too often in the other, as they fell to another derby defeat.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (www.ballymenaunitedfc.com)



Squad Statistics (as at March 7th, 2023)


2022-2023 All Time
Age
Jordan Williamson (GK)27 10 - 79 -
Craig Farquhar19 4 - 4 -
Robert McVarnock23 10 - 10 -
Steven McCullough28 32 - 2028
Scot Whiteside25 34 - 891
Joshua Kelly23 3751249
Sean Graham22 253633
Kym Nelson27 303484
Jack Henderson22 281481
David McDaid32 35113511
Kenny Kane23 271898
Michael Place (sub)24 322515
Andrew McGrory (sub)31 11213425
Jordan Gibson (sub)27 343343
Ryan Waide (sub)23 28410813



League Table (as at March 7th, 2023)


Pld W D L Pts
1. Larne 31 21 6 4 69
2. Linfield 31 19 5 7 62
3. Cliftonville 30 19 5 6 62
4. Crusaders 30 17 6 7 57
5. Coleraine 31 17 6 8 57
6. Glentoran 29 17 4 8 55
7. Carrick 30 10 4 16 34
8. Glenavon 30 8 8 14 32
9. BALLYMENA 30 9 5 16 32
10. Newry 30 7 2 21 23
11. Dungannon 30 6 2 22 20
12. Portadown 30 3 3 24 12