Newry Town (City) 0
Ballymena United 0
League (NIFL Premiership)


0 - 0

Ballymena United

League (NIFL Premiership)
Friday, December 8th, 2023
Newry Showgrounds
Attendance: 747
8:00 PM Kick-off

None. None.

Team Managers
Gary Boyle Jim Ervin

Starting Eleven
1. Steven Maguire
2. Darren King
3. Noel Healy
4. Ryan McGivern
5. Barney McKeown
11. John McGovern
14. Adam Salley
16. Liam Bagnall
19. Brian Healy
24. Lorcan Forde
38. Georgie Poynton
Sean O'Neill .1
Steven McCullough .11
Scot Whiteside .5
Dylan Boyle .28
Kym Nelson .2
Donal Rocks .4
Fraser Taylor .16
Lewis Tennant .21
Alex Gawne .7
Noah Stewart .33
Isaac Westendorf .37

7. Ciaran O'Connor
8. Adam Carroll
10. Thomas Lockhart
18. Stephen Moan
29. Brian Newell
36. Jordan Mooney
49. Paul McGovern
Sam Johnston .26
Caleb Crawford .22
TJ Murray .20
Andrew McGrory .17
Jonathan McMurray .27
David Taylor .23
Ryan Waide .10

Adam Carroll for Brian Healy (62)
Thomas Lockhart for Georgie Poynton (62)
Brian Newell for Darren King (85)
Caleb Crawford for Noah Stewart (69)
Ryan Waide for Isaac Westendorf (77)

Georgie Poynton (18)
Ryan McGivern (47)
Liam Bagnall
Dylan Boyle
Kym Nelson (7)
Isaac Westendorf (50)

Red Cards
None. Lewis Tennant (66)

Match Officials

Jamie Robinson (Referee)
Adam Jeffrey & Shane Geary (Assistants)
Evan Boyce (Fourth Official)

Match Report

10-man Ballymena United remain locked at the bottom of the SportsDirect Premiership table with Newry City after the two sides played out a 0-0 stalemate at the Newry Showgrounds on Friday night.

After the fixture got the go-ahead following a pitch inspection earlier in the day after awful weather across the country, Jim Ervin made just one change from the side that picked up an impressive point against Larne last week, as Isaac Westendorf came back in for Mikey Place.

With the rain showing no signs of stopping and the Newry pitch a long way from being ideal for football, it was a fairly decent opening half from both teams in the conditions. Noah Stewart looked to bypass the need to use the muddy surface when he had a poke from all of forty yards, but he saw the ball narrowly clear the crossbar, whilst at the other end Steven McCullough denied Lorcan Forde with a last resort block, before Sean O'Neill made a fine stop with his feet to keep out Brian Healy.

By the midpoint of the opening half, it was a chance filled encounter between the bottom two as they looked to close the gap to Dungannon in tenth, and after Steven Maguire saved well from Donal Rocks, Westendorf was left to rue a couple of huge openings. A United counter ended with the front man racing clear one on one, but just like at Windsor Park two weeks ago, a heavy touch from Westendorf allowed the 'keeper time, as Maguire came out to smother the chance. Five minutes later, in worsening weather, Westendorf was in again and this time rounded Maguire, but from a tight angle he was denied an opener by a stunning Barney McKeown block on the slide.

Before the break, Westendorf found time for another chance, but again he couldn't convert. A mistake at the back from Healy presented an opportunity to Westendorf, but he fired into the side netting, as an entertaining first half somehow ended goalless.

The second half was a much less glamorous affair from both as the heavens remained open, with neither 'keeper having to excite themselves for the majority of the half.

As the game continued to drift with very little happening, on sixty-eight minutes there was a potential turning point when the Braidmen's dismal disciplinary record came back to pay them a visit. A lunging challenge from Lewis Tennant on substitute Adam Carroll possibly may have only warranted a yellow, but referee Jamie Robinson instead reached for his red to see the visitors reduced to ten men, for concerningly the sixth time in the league this season.

Caleb Crawford was introduced for Stewart as the boss looked to the plug the gap left at the back by Tennant's dismissal, as United switched into survival mode for the final twenty or so minutes.

With the man advantage, Newry looked the more likely to net, but in truth it was a second period in which 0-0 looked nailed on for most of the half. When a chance finally appeared, it fell the way of Thomas Lockhart, but from the edge of the box he saw his effort fly wide of the post.

As the basement match up headed into four minutes of time added on, the Sky Blues were camped inside their own box, but continued to stand firm. The hosts forced a couple of late corners, but the best they could manage was a header from Carroll which he could only send over, as a tough battle on a tough night ended goalless, and for United, the positive is back-to-back clean sheets, the negative is no goal in five.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at December 8th, 2023)

2023-2024 All Time
Sean O'Neill (GK)35 21 - 84 -
Steven McCullough29 21 - 2308
Scot Whiteside26 2211202
Dylan Boyle21 14 - 14 -
Kym Nelson28 18 - 735
Donal Rocks23 15 - 15 -
Fraser Taylor20 21 - 21 -
Lewis Tennant19 13 - 14 -
Alex Gawne22 182182
Noah Stewart19 133133
Isaac Westendorf22 133133
Caleb Crawford (sub)18 2 - 2 -
Ryan Waide (sub)23 17313318

League Table (as at December 8th, 2023)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Larne 20 13 6 1 45
2. Linfield 18 14 1 3 43
3. Cliftonville 19 13 2 4 41
4. Crusaders 19 10 5 4 35
5. Glentoran 19 9 4 6 31
6. Coleraine 19 7 5 7 26
7. Glenavon 20 7 2 11 23
8. Loughgall 19 6 4 9 22
9. Carrick 20 6 3 11 21
10. Dungannon 19 3 6 10 15
11. BALLYMENA 20 3 3 14 12
12. Newry 20 3 3 14 12