Cliftonville 0
Ballymena United 0
League (IFA Premiership)


0 - 0

Ballymena United

League (IFA Premiership)
Saturday, November 1st, 2008
Attendance: 522
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. None.

Team Managers
Eddie Patterson Roy Walker

Starting Eleven
John Connolly
Ronan Scannell
Declan O'Hara
Mark Holland
Rory Hamill
Chris Scannell
George McMullan
Ciaran Donaghy
Barry Holland
Kieran O'Connor
Conor Downey
Alan Blayney
Lee Colligan
Gavin McDonnell
Gary Haveron
Stuart King
Joe McDonnell
Gavin Melaugh
Liam Mullan
Aidan Watson
Kevin Kelbie
Neil Teggart

Francis Murphy
Ryan Catney
Mark Patterson
Ciaran Boyd
Liam Boyce
Aaron Stewart
Thomas Wray
Mark Picking
Paul McNeill
Michael Ward

Francis Murphy for Conor Downey (60)
Liam Boyce for Rory Hamill (78)
Thomas Wray for Aidan Watson (90)
Paul McNeill for Stuart King (90)

None. Stuart King (69)
Kevin Kelbie (76)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Desmond Loughrey (Limavady) (Referee)

Match Report

DESPITE a hard-fought scoreless draw at Solitude against Cliftonville - Ballymena United remain bottom of the IFA Premiership.

Roy Walker brought Gavin McDonnell back into the starting eleven for the first time since September, in place of the injured Albert Watson; there was also a return for striker Neil Teggart.

The game also marked a landmark first as former Ballymena United legend, Dessie Loughery - who terrorised defences during the ninties in a sky blue shirt - took the whistle for the first time at a United game.

Ballymena arguably had the better exchanges of what was a poor first half, as Liam Mullan drove poorly wide with the first real effort early on, striking with his weaker right foot.

The Reds' best chance of the half came soon after when Barry Holland collected the loose ball from a corner on the edge of the box and his unstoppable shot just went wide of the post with Blayney beaten.

Arguably Ballymena's best chance came mid-way through the half when Gavin McDonnell's searching ball down the right found Teggart whose low cross across the penalty area was met by the outstretched Kevin Kelbie, however the Scot's effort was well saved by Connolly.

Just before the break the lively Stuart King, darted through the middle, skipping by one defender before firing his shot wide.

The best chance for Ballymena United came early in the second half when a neat one-two between Kelbie and Gavin Melaugh allowed the Londonderry midfielder to fire a rasping drive which John Connolly was alert enough to tip around the post.

The home side nearly grabbed a winner, when they came into the game late on. As a a quick free-kick allowed Chris Scannell through, and the Reds captain narrowly hit the post.

It had looked like the Sky Blues would be moving off the bottom of the table for the first time in weeks, until next placed Glenavon equalised against table-topping Crusaders with ten minutes remaining.

Braid boss Roy Walker was happy with his side's performance; "We felt we should have had a penalty when Kelbie was bundled over but Cliftonville had one or two shouts for one themselves and I think, on the balance of play, a draw was fair," he said.

"I told the players they would have to fight if they wanted anything from this game and it was important we worked hard for one another.

"We did just that and could have won the game with a few opportunities but we defended well when called upon in the latter stages also."

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

Squad Statistics (as at November 1st, 2008)

2008-2009 All Time
Alan Blayney (GK)27 12 - 12 -
Lee Colligan19 6 - 8 -
Gavin McDonnell30 11 - 11 -
Gary Haveron27 16112411
Stuart King27 13 - 1038
Joe McDonnell21 11 - 11 -
Gavin Melaugh27 14 - 544
Liam Mullan - 7171
Aidan Watson22 13 - 863
Kevin Kelbie23 14511854
Neil Teggart24 166166
Thomas Wray (sub)25 8 - 303
Paul McNeill (sub)20 2182

League Table (as at November 1st, 2008)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Crusaders 13 7 4 2 25
2. Glentoran 11 7 4 0 25
3. Linfield 11 7 2 2 23
4. Coleraine 13 7 2 4 23
5. Distillery 13 6 3 4 21
6. Bangor 14 6 2 6 20
7. Institute 14 5 3 6 18
8. Newry 14 3 8 3 17
9. Cliftonville 12 3 3 6 12
10. Dungannon 13 2 4 7 10
11. Glenavon 12 2 2 8 8
12. BALLYMENA UTD 14 1 5 8 8