Glentoran 2
Ballymena United 3
League (NIFL Premiership)


2 - 3

Ballymena United

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, December 10th, 2016
The Oval
Attendance: 1,445
3:00 PM Kick-off

Adam McCracken (o.g.) (10)
Stephen McAlorum (26)
Francis McCaffrey (50)
Tony Kane (86)
Jonathan McMurray (90)

Team Managers
Gary Haveron David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
1. Elliott Morris
6. Jay Magee
9. Curtis Allen
11. Chris Lavery
14. Eric Foley
15. Aaron Harmon
16. Stephen McAlorum
19. Jonathan Addis
23. Ross Redman
24. James Ferrin
25. Jonathan Smith
Ross Glendinning .1
Kyle Owens .4
Jim Ervin .21
Tony Kane .2
Adam McCracken .39
Leroy Millar .23
Allan Jenkins .10
Gavin Taggart .8
William Faulkner .12
Francis McCaffrey .29
Cathair Friel .14

10. Nacho Novo
17. Tiarnan McAuley
18. Dwayne Nelson
21. Kym Nelson
27. Stephen O'Flynn
Alan Blayney .18
Daniel Wallace .17
Caolan Loughran .34
Darren Henderson .9
Jonathan McMurray .27

Kym Nelson for Jonathan Smith (69)
Stephen O'Flynn for Eric Foley (90)
Jonathan McMurray for Gavin Taggart (69)

Stephen McAlorum (89) Cathair Friel (89)
Kyle Owens (90)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Ross Dunlop (Referee)
Stephen Bell & Neil Gillespie (Assistants)
Christopher Morrison (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Ballymena United staged a stunning late comeback to beat Glentoran 3-2 at The Oval today.

In a game of two halves, Ballymena started the game relatively brightly but it was Glentoran who took an early lead. In the 10 minute, in what was the home side's first real attack, Chris Lavery advanced down the left wing and his second attempt at a cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Adam McCracken.

The Sky Blues tried to hit back quickly and a neat move saw the ball fall to William Faulkner on the edge of the box, but he sliced his shot well wide. In the 25th minute, the home side doubled their lead with a fortunate goal. A ball into the box came to Glentoran captain Stephen McAlorum, who flung a foot at the ball in an attempt to put it into a dangerous area, but instead managed to lob Ross Glendinning and find the back of the net.

Within 5 minutes, United should've pulled a goal back. A free kick was flicked on by Kyle Owens into the path of Cathair Friel, but he somehow blasted over from six yards. Ballymena almost regretted the miss instantly when Ross Redman found Curtis Allen with space in the box, but the striker struggled to get any power behind the shot and Glendinning gathered. Towards the end of the half, a free kick from Anthony Kane only needed a touch to surely go in, but avoided everybody and Glentoran were eventually able to clear.

The second half belonged to the visitors, who pulled a goal back on 51 minutes. Friel picked the ball up on the halfway line and produced a nice run before playing a neat ball into Francis McCaffrey, who buried the ball into the bottom corner.

Ballymena continued to press, but couldn't produce goal scoring opportunities, and on 62 minutes Glentoran couldn't have got any closer to making United pay as McAlorum stuck the post with a low drilled effort from the edge of the box. The next best chance of the game also fell to the Glen's. A mazy run from Lavery set up Eric Foley, but his dipping effort went over.

The final ten minutes saw Ballymena intensify their pressure further. Substitute Johnny McMurray, returning from an injury layoff, had an effort cleared on the line by Redman. With 4 minutes left on the clock, Ballymena found a dramatic equaliser.

Leroy Millar sent a long ball to Faulkner who headed it into the six yard box. Allan Jenkins did well to pressure Elliott Morris and the ball fell to Tony Kane who lashed home for his first goal from open play this season.

But the game's drama wasn't finished there. On 90 minutes, Jonathan McMurray broke free and timed his strike to perfection as he beat Morris to the joy of the travelling support, giving Ballymena a memorable victory.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at December 10th, 2016)

2016-2017 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)23 13 - 13 -
Kyle Owens24 254254
Jim Ervin31 25 - 1032
Adam McCracken18 3 - 3 -
Tony Kane29 241121323
Francis McCaffrey23 6363
Gavin Taggart32 2 - 1776
Allan Jenkins35 24522948
William Faulkner26 2145410
Leroy Millar21 181362
Cathair Friel23 25152515
Jonathan McMurray (sub)22 199199

League Table (as at December 10th, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Crusaders 20 14 5 1 26 47
2. Linfield 20 12 6 2 34 42
3. Cliftonville 20 13 2 5 15 41
4. BALLYMENA UTD 20 11 3 6 2 36
5. Coleraine 20 8 6 6 6 30
6. Glenavon 19 7 8 4 5 29
7. Dungannon Swifts 20 7 6 7 8 27
8. Glentoran 20 6 5 9 -10 23
9. Ards 20 6 3 11 -7 21
10. Ballinamallard Utd 19 3 3 13 -22 12
11. Carrick Rangers 20 3 3 14 -29 12
12. Portadown 20 3 2 15 -28 -1

* - Table split into two divisions of six.