Ballymena United 1
Cliftonville 5
League (IFA Premiership)

Ballymena United
1 - 5

League (IFA Premiership)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 799
3:00 PM Kick-off

Neil Teggart (3)
Francis Murphy (31)
Rory Hamill (41)
Chris Scannell (43)
Chris Scannell (48)
Chris Scannell (54)

Team Managers
Roy Walker
Eddie Patterson

Starting Eleven
Alan Blayney
Albert Watson
Craig McClean
Thomas Wray
Joe McDonnell
Michael McGinlay
Stuart King
Gary Haveron
Peter Kennedy
Kevin Kelbie
Neil Teggart
John Connolly
Aaron Smyth
Ronan Scannell
Ryan Catney
Ciaran Donaghy
David McAlinden
Kieran O'Connor
Rory Hamill
Chris Scannell
George McMullan
Francis Murphy

Liam Hogan
Gavin McDonnell
Aidan Watson
Mark Picking
Davitt Walsh
Ciaran Boyd
Anto Lagan
Declan O'Hara
Stephen O'Neill
Mark Patterson

Gavin McDonnell for Gary Haveron (75)
Davitt Walsh for Neil Teggart (75)
Mark Picking for Michael McGinlay (83)
Declan O'Hara for David McAlinden (85)
Stephen O'Neill for Chris Scannell (81)
Mark Patterson for Kieran O'Connor (71)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

David Malcolm (Bangor) (Referee)

Match Report

ROY Walker got off to a nightmare start in the opening game of the JJB Sports IFA Premiership, as he watched his new side capitulate at home to Cliftonville at the Showgrounds.

It looked to be going so differently though when the Sky Blues raced into the lead after just two minutes as Neil Teggart scored his third goal in two games since his move to the Braid.

Stuart King's corner was met by a glancing header from the Downpatrick man at the near post, and the Sky Blues had made the dream start to their new Premiership campaign.

The Braidmen weren't done yet as they continued to flow forward against the shell-shocked Solitude side; Neil Teggart going close twice in the next 20 minutes, firstly forcing a point blank reaction save from Connolly and then firing into the side netting with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Just after the half-hour mark, the scores were level. A foul on Chris Scannell forced a free-kick on the right side which was floated in by George McMullan and flicked by McAlinden into the path of Francis Murphy and the Reds' winger fired home from close range.

Eddie Patterson's side stepped it up a gear and took control of the game, and took only ten minutes to edge in front with their second goal of the day. Former Ballymena striker Rory Hamill found space on the edge of the box to fire home into the corner, giving Alan Blayney no chance.

Two minutes later, Ballymena pressed the self-destruct button as goalkeeper Alan Blayney spilled Rory Hamill's cross, only as far as Chris Scannell who gladfully slotted the ball into the back of the net.

The second half produced more comical defending by the Braidmen as they failed to clear their lines from a corner, the static home defence could only stand and watch Scannell poke home his second from close range.

The Cliftonville forward completed his simple hat-trick on 54 minutes when another corner from the left was spilled by Blayney, who dropped the ball only as far as Scannell who stuck a foot out for the visitors' fifth of the afternoon.

United boss Roy Walker admitted: "All of our wounds were self-inflicted without a doubt – our defensive capabilities were fairly negligible to say the least.

"It's a real 'welcome back' and the job really begins now. It showed up a lot of deficiencies in individuals in a particular area which I had felt we would be solid in.

"It really does let the players see that you have to go out and earn it.

"If you're not 100 per cent focused, you get punished harshly in this league and I'm glad we have a game coming up on Tuesday night to get this out of the system."

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

Squad Statistics (as at August 23rd, 2008)

2008-2009 All Time
Alan Blayney (GK)26 2 - 2 -
Craig McClean23 2 - 98 -
Albert Watson22 2 - 2128
Thomas Wray24 2 - 243
Peter Kennedy34 2 - 2 -
Stuart King27 1 - 918
Joe McDonnell21 2 - 2 -
Gary Haveron27 2 - 11010
Michael McGinlay20 2 - 2 -
Kevin Kelbie23 1 - 10549
Neil Teggart23 2323
Gavin McDonnell (sub)30 2 - 2 -
Mark Picking (sub)32 1 - 7211
Davitt Walsh (sub)22 212611

League Table (as at August 23rd, 2008)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Crusaders 2 1 1 0 4
2. Cliftonville 1 1 0 0 3
3. Bangor 1 1 0 0 3
4. Coleraine 1 1 0 0 3
5. Linfield 1 1 0 0 3
6. Distillery 1 0 1 0 1
7. Glentoran 1 0 1 0 1
8. Institute 2 0 1 1 1
9. Dungannon 1 0 0 1 0
10. Newry 1 0 0 1 0
11. Glenavon 1 0 0 1 0
12. BALLYMENA UTD 1 0 0 1 0