Newry Town (City) 2
Ballymena United 2
League (IFA Premiership)


2 - 2

Ballymena United

League (IFA Premiership)
Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
Newry Showgrounds
Attendance: 304
7:45 PM Kick-off

Stephen Garrett (8)
Richard Clarke (89)
Neil Teggart (21)
Gary Haveron (81)

Team Managers
Gerry Flynn Roy Walker

Starting Eleven
Paul Murphy
Darren King
Ross Black
Cullen Feeney
Emmet Friars
Richard Clarke
Stephen Garrett
Michael Collins
Chris Morgan
Lee Feeney
Steven Ferguson
Alan Blayney
Albert Watson
Gavin McDonnell
Thomas Wray
Craig McClean
Gary Haveron
Joe McDonnell
Peter Kennedy
Stuart King
Neil Teggart
Davitt Walsh

Paul Walsh
Tony Anderson
Kevin Keegan
Kyle Moran
Liam Hogan
Michael McGinlay
Mark Picking
Aidan Watson
Michael Ward

Tony Anderson for Steven Ferguson (54)
Kevin Keegan for Lee Feeney (61)
Kyle Moran for Chris Morgan (78)

Cullen Feeney (79) Davitt Walsh (31)
Gavin McDonnell (60)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Trevor Mountray (Dundonald) (Referee)

Match Report

A LATE equaliser prevented Ballymena United taking all three points from their IFA Premiership clash with Newry City at the Marshes.

Gavin McDonnell and Davitt Walsh stepped up from the bench as Roy Walker's side looked to bounce back from the humiliating defeat at the hands of Cliftonville on Saturday in the opening league game.

However, the visitors found themselves chasing the game after only eight minutes as a goal from Stephen Garrett gave Ballymena the worst possible start.

Poor defending from Gavin McDonnell allowed the former-Linfield striker, Garrett, to nip in and slide the ball under Alan Blayney to give the home side the early lead.

The Braidmen responded well and found an equaliser from in-form Neil Teggart on 21 minutes. Gary Haveron fed through the big striker down the left flank and he cut in on the edge of the box and planted an unstoppable shot past Paul Murphy in the Newry goal.

This was Teggart's fourth goal of the season, in only three games; this also kept up his outstanding record of scoring in every game he has played for Ballymena United which now stands at 10 goals in eight games, including pre-season.

A barrage of excellent corners from the rejuvinated Stuart King nearly forced Ballymena into the lead five minutes before the break. United captain Albert Watson rattled the base of the post with a downward header and Davitt Walsh could only direct the rebound wide.

Ballymena United's dominance either side of the half-time whistle was nearly undone on the hour mark when Garrett rounded goalkeeper Alan Blayney but couldn't finish. Meanwhile, Joe McDonnell dragged a good effort wide from a Peter Kennedy cross.

Stuart King turned provider again with another dead-ball as his corner as Gary Haveron out-jumped former team-mate Paul Murphy to head the Sky Blues in front with nine minutes left.

However, just as it looked like Roy Walker's side were going to hold on for the win, Newry captain Richard Clarke struck a superb equaliser with one minute of normal time remaining at the border venue.

Ross Black's deep corner was headed across goal by Michael Collins and the highly-rated Clarke controlled on the chest and struck the ball sweetly into the top corner giving Blayney no chance as the home side salvaged a point.

"It was a cruel ending but from Saturday, the pleasing thing was the response and I was very heartened by that," said Walker.

"The players have taken a bit on the chin – there were a few home truths put to a few people after Saturday - and I couldn't fault their effort or commitment.

"But you have to play with the same verve, commitment and passion every week. I personally don't know any other way to be and I expect that to rub off on the team."

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

Squad Statistics (as at August 26th, 2008)

2008-2009 All Time
Alan Blayney (GK)26 3 - 3 -
Thomas Wray24 3 - 253
Craig McClean23 3 - 99 -
Gavin McDonnell30 3 - 3 -
Albert Watson22 3 - 2138
Stuart King27 2 - 928
Gary Haveron27 3111111
Peter Kennedy34 3 - 3 -
Joe McDonnell21 3 - 3 -
Neil Teggart23 3434
Davitt Walsh22 312711

League Table (as at August 26th, 2008)

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