Glentoran 4
Ballymena United 1
League (IFA Premiership)


4 - 1

Ballymena United

League (IFA Premiership)
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
The Oval
Attendance: 1,239
7:45 PM Kick-off

David Scullion (15)
Thomas Wray (o.g.) (25)
Michael Halliday (28)
Colin Nixon (pen.) (43)
Kevin Kelbie (64)

Team Managers
Alan McDonald Roy Walker

Starting Eleven
Elliott Morris
Colin Nixon
Kyle Neill
Shane McCabe
Sean Ward
Michael Halliday
Gary Hamilton
David Scullion
Dean Fitzgerald
Phillip Simpson
Jonathan Black
Sean O'Neill
Gavin McDonnell
Aaron Stewart
Albert Watson
Thomas Wray
Gary Haveron
Gavin Melaugh
Liam Mullan
Kevin Kelbie
Davitt Walsh
Michael Ward

Jason Hill
Andrew Waterworth
Darren Boyce
Grant Gardiner
Craig Harris
Lee Colligan
Liam Hogan
Michael McGinlay
Aidan Watson
Neil Teggart

Andrew Waterworth for Michael Halliday (85)
Darren Boyce for David Scullion (71)
Grant Gardiner for Dean Fitzgerald (67)
Aidan Watson for Gavin McDonnell (46)
Liam Hogan for Gary Haveron (59)
Neil Teggart for Liam Mullan (73)

Grant Gardiner (69) None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Iain Hall (Belfast) (Referee)

Match Report

ROY Walker's Ballymena United side were resigned to a fifth straight defeat after a disastrous first half showing against Glentoran at the Oval on Tuesday night.

Sporting the club's new all-black away strip the Sky Blues returned to the Oval looking to avenge the 6-1 mauling in the County Antrim Shield a fortnight ago.

However, that plan went out the window as early as the 15th minute when Dean Fitzgerald's header allowed David Scullion to beat the flat-footed Gavin McDonnell and slide the ball under the Sean O'Neill for the opening strike.

Ballymena did themselves no favours with a comical own goal from defender Thomas Wray, as he proceeded to slice Gary Hamilton's cross from the right over the head of his own goalkeeper whilst under no immediate pressure.

Heads visably dropped amongst a side already low in confidence and a third goal came three minutes later when Sean Ward fed Michael Halliday through to increase the home side's lead as he lobbed the advancing Sean O'Neill with consummate ease.

With the interval approaching Ballymena committed footballing suicide yet again, as Gary Haveron gave away a needless penalty as he handled a Glentoran corner. Glentoran captain Colin Nixon gleefully rattled home the resulting penalty to leave the Glens four up at the break.

The Sky Blues came out in the second half and went with a more attacking formation and played without the pressure as Glentoran had obviously taken their foot off the pedal.

Ballymena's endeavour was rewarded in the 64th minute when Scottish striker Kevin Kelbie managed to squeeze his way through the Oval defeat to coolly finish, but it proved to be scant consolation for United who remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

After yet another defeat, Braid manager Roy Walker launched a scathing attack on his players.

"I understand that players don't go out to play badly but someone said we were like a pub team but that's not fair on a pub team because it was worse, much worse," said Walker.

"You can only work with some of the tools in the box. Can life be breathed into them? Some, possibly, others, probably not."

"The only positive I can take from the game is the way we played in the second half. It was more spirited but the basis for playing that way was not conceding goals. I would be nit-picking to find fault with the players who played in the second half but it was over as a contest at half-time.

"I would much rather persevere with young players like Archie Stewart and Liam Hogan with a view to developing them as players Sadly they are getting their experience at the wrong end of the table - that would not have been my choice.

United face Bangor at home in a crunch tie which nows likely in going a long way to determining which teams survive the dreaded threat of relegation.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

Squad Statistics (as at September 23rd, 2008)

2008-2009 All Time
Sean O'Neill (GK)20 4 - 6 -
Gavin McDonnell30 10 - 10 -
Aaron Stewart18 4 - 4 -
Albert Watson23 10 - 2208
Thomas Wray24 6 - 283
Gary Haveron27 10111811
Gavin Melaugh27 7 - 474
Liam Mullan - 2 - 2 -
Kevin Kelbie23 7211151
Davitt Walsh22 913311
Michael Ward24 3 - 14 -
Liam Hogan (sub)21 5 - 5 -
Aidan Watson (sub)22 7 - 803
Neil Teggart (sub)24 105105

League Table (as at September 23rd, 2008)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 6 5 1 0 16
2. Distillery 8 4 3 1 15
3. Glentoran 7 4 3 0 15
4. Crusaders 7 4 2 1 14
5. Coleraine 7 4 0 3 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 8 0 2 6 2