1 - 1
1 - 1
League (IFA Premiership)
Kevin Kelbie (58)
||David Scullion (46)|
Michael Ward for Liam Mullan (71)
Davitt Walsh for Michael Ward (88)
Andrew Waterworth for Michael Halliday (69)
Jaimie McGovern for David Scullion (81)
Jonathan Taylor for Kyle Neill (71)
Gavin Melaugh (39)
Neil Teggart (74)
|Shane McCabe (32)|
Raymond Crangle (Belfast) (Referee)
BALLYMENA United's upturn in form continued with a well deserved draw against league-leaders Glentoran at the Showgrounds.
The match was preceeded by a impeccably observed minute's silence in honour of the late Lorraine Stewart - mother of defender Aaron, and wife of Reserve team manager, Alfie, who died on route to the Showgrounds last Saturday.
The first real chance of the game came after the half hour of what had been a scrappy game when Gary Hamilton's cross was met by the on-rushing Kyle Neill. Forcing Alan Blayney to save with his shins at point blank range.
Glentoran had an even better chance only minutes later when Hamilton teed up Michael Halliday to tap home from six yards whilst unmarked - but the striker's poor effort went glaringly wide of the post.
The main talking point of the first half came when Halliday again raced through the home defence and was seemingly grounded by the outstretched arm of Alan Blayney - however, referee Raymond Crangle let play continue despite to the disbelief of the Belfast men.
Ballymena's best effort of note in the first period came when Kevin Kelbie found space to hit a stinging shot, which Morris easily pushed over the bar.
In the second half, Alan McDonald's men started with a bang, as with their first move after the restart they opened the scoring.
Liam Mullan gave away a careless free-kick on the right flank - allowing Hamilton to wip in a dangerous ball which the unmarked David Scullion place home in mid-air.
The Braidmen rallied and conjoured an equaliser just before the hour mark when Kelbie fed Stuart King down the right flank. The former Linfield winger skipped by Jason Hill and cut the ball back across goal for Kevin Kelbie who finished well for his fifth goal of the season.
This instilled confidence in Roy Walker's men, as Liam Mullan cut inside and found space for a shot but hit tamely at Morris in the Glentoran goal.
Then with the final whistle looming, Neil Teggart nearly won it for United when his header from point-blank range was headed off the line by Glentoran substitute Jamie McGovern.
A point it was for United which although the Skies remain bottom of the IFA Premiership, they are now level on points with next placed Glenavon - and are only bottom on goal difference now.
"We've come out of a local derby and back-to-back games against the best two teams in the country in credit in each game so we can't let the standard drop," said United manager, Roy Walker.
"We're working hard and the manner of our displays in those three games has been the most pleasing thing for me. We've tried to pass the ball rather than just whack it up the field and I've seen the players stand up and be counted in those games.
"I'm not having to keep them behind closed doors in the dressing room and point out all the negatives to them. That's why I had a couple of minutes on the pitch with them before they came off and said 'this is the standard set â€“ now you know what is required'.
"A draw against Glentoran was the least that our efforts deserved. I'm pleased that we came back from a goal down against a very good team. I was pleased that we were competitive, we looked tight and Gary Haveron epitomised everything we did."
Match report written by Official Ballymena United website
|Alan Blayney (GK)||27||9||-||9||-|
|Michael Ward (sub)||24||6||-||17||-|
|Davitt Walsh (sub)||22||12||1||36||11|