Crusaders 2
Ballymena United 0
League (IFA Premiership)


2 - 0

Ballymena United

League (IFA Premiership)
Saturday, September 20th, 2008
Attendance: 600
3:00 PM Kick-off

Eamonn Doherty (44)
David Rainey (49)

Team Managers
Stephen Baxter Roy Walker

Starting Eleven
Chris Keenan
Gareth McKeown
Stephen McBride
Eamonn Doherty
David Magowan
Colin Coates
Steven Coulter
Aaron Black
Mark Dickson
David Rainey
Martin Donnelly
Sean O'Neill
Gavin McDonnell
Albert Watson
Aaron Stewart
Craig McClean
Aidan Watson
Gavin Melaugh
Gary Haveron
David Cushley
Kevin Kelbie
Davitt Walsh

Jordan Owens
Alain Emerson
Eamon McAllister
Barry Spence
Liam Hogan
Liam Mullan
Michael McGinlay
Neil Teggart
Michael Ward

Jordan Owens for Steven Coulter (73)
Alain Emerson for Eamonn Doherty (85)
Barry Spence for Martin Donnelly (85)
Neil Teggart for Davitt Walsh (59)
Michael Ward for Aaron Stewart (59)
Liam Mullan for David Cushley (66)

None. Albert Watson (21)
Craig McClean (68)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Stephen Weatherall (Belfast) (Referee)

Match Report

ROY Walker insists that opposing teams aren't being made to work hard enough to earn results against his Ballymena United side.

It was certainly difficult to argue after Crusaders condemned the Sky Blues to a fifth defeat in seven league games with a routine victory at Seaview.

Goals in a catastrophic five minute period either side of half-time from Eamon Doherty and David Rainey leaves United rock bottom, as the encouragement gained from the battling display against Lisburn Distillery in midweek dissipated into the type of anodyne performance that has been all-too-familiar this season.

"We started OK and there wasn't anything really in the game in the first half, but the second half was too easy for the Crues and we didn't do enough to get back into it," said Walker afterwards.

"It's when we lose a goal, we tend to lose all shape and belief and no matter how hard I try to get into people's heads and hearts that they can get back from this, almost immediately, bang, another goal goes in.

"I thought we looked porous and I was disappointed in the way we let people cross balls into the box. If you give somebody an opportunity to cross the ball in 10 times, one of them is liable to hurt you.

"We're talking about basic defending and the art of defending as a team and we don't seem to be able to master that despite working on it on training nights.

"We don't look like we now how to defend and I just hope there's a realisation of that because I have been telling and showing players that but there's a reluctance by some of them to say 'you know what, maybe it is me'.

"We don't tackle, we don't go and put the ball, opponent, everything over the line. We pick up bookings for silly things, not for facing up to an opponent, meeting him head on and getting a tackle in. I think we're too easy to play against.

When we get into attacking positions we need to score but we're not creative enough either.

Nobody seems to score good goals against us, they all seem to be in and around the six yard box.

They don't seem to be ‘earned' goals, goals that we ‘create' for other teams but the table doesn't lie,” added Walker.

As for the goals, Crusaders took the lead a minute before the break when Martin Donnolly's low angled shot spooned up off the foot of United keeper Sean O'Neill and may have already drifted over the line before Eamon Doherty added a final touch, despite the efforts of Gavin Melaugh.

Donnolly provided a cross for the second, four minutes after the restart, which was headed on by Aaron Black and David Rainey stooped to head home at the back post.

Ballymena's woes were summed up when Michael Ward scooped their only chance over the bar from inside the six yard box from a Liam Mullan cross.

Match report written by Ballymena Times

Squad Statistics (as at September 20th, 2008)

2008-2009 All Time
Sean O'Neill (GK)20 3 - 5 -
Craig McClean23 6 - 102 -
Albert Watson23 9 - 2198
Aaron Stewart18 3 - 3 -
Gavin McDonnell30 9 - 9 -
Gavin Melaugh27 6 - 464
Gary Haveron27 9111711
Aidan Watson22 6 - 793
Davitt Walsh22 813211
Kevin Kelbie23 6111050
David Cushley19 3 - 232
Liam Mullan (sub) - 1 - 1 -
Michael Ward (sub)24 2 - 13 -
Neil Teggart (sub)24 9595

League Table (as at September 20th, 2008)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Distillery 7 4 3 0 15
2. Crusaders 7 4 2 1 14
3. Linfield 5 4 1 0 13
4. Coleraine 7 4 0 3 12
5. Glentoran 6 3 3 0 12
6. Cliftonville 6 2 1 3 7
7. Newry 7 1 4 2 7
8. Dungannon 6 1 3 2 6
9. Bangor 6 2 0 4 6
10. Institute 7 1 2 4 5
11. Glenavon 5 1 1 3 4
12. BALLYMENA UTD 7 0 2 5 2