Ballymena United 0
Glentoran 4
League (Irish Premier League)

Ballymena United
0 - 4

League (Irish Premier League)
Saturday, September 29th, 2007
Ballymena Showgrounds
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Rory Hamill (10)
Gary Hamilton (46)
Gary Hamilton (71)
Michael Halliday (74)

Team Managers
Tommy Wright
Alan McDonald

Starting Eleven
Paul Murphy
Craig McClean
Albert Watson
Thomas Wray
Gary Haveron
Gavin Melaugh
Mark Picking
Garth Scates
David Cushley
Kevin Kelbie
Randal Reid
Michael Dougherty
Colin Nixon
Kyle Neill
Paul Leeman
Sean Ward
Rory Hamill
Michael Halliday
Gary Hamilton
David Scullion
Dean Fitzgerald
Daryl Fordyce

Jonathan Flynn
Gary Baird
Stephen Lowry
Lee Patrick
Paul McNeill
Elliott Morris
Jason Hill
Michael Ward
Ryan Berry
Jaimie McGovern

Paul McNeill for David Cushley (63)
Jonathan Flynn for Gary Haveron (82)
Lee Patrick for Mark Picking (82)
Ryan Berry for Dean Fitzgerald (61)

None. Daryl Fordyce (37)
Colin Nixon (42)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Brian Turkington (Belfast) (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United suffered a heavy home defeat against Glentoran at the Showgrounds in Saturday's Carnegie Premier League fixture.

United boss Wright wasn't a happy man; "In any football match there's mistakes made, but there are mistakes and there are howlers and that's in two of our last three games we've made probably six howlers.

"I know we have those performances in us but their regularity this season is nothing short of frightening."

The reality of the regularity Wright mentioned is that last season, Ballymena lost only four games at home – this season is only two months old and the Sky Blues have tasted defeat at home three times already.

Despite a number of enforced changes; the writing was on the wall for the Braidmen from the off, as Michael Halliday's effort after only three minutes was scrambled away for a corner.

Glentoran took the lead after only ten minutes as Thomas Wray was harshly adjudged to have brought down David Scullion in front of the travelling supporters. Gary Hamilton stepped up and curled the free-kick into a crowded area.

Former Ballymena United forward, Rory Hamill, managed to get the faintest of touches to nod the ball past Paul Murphy with the rest of the home defence completely static.

The Glens and their impressive attacking line continued to press forward in search of more goals, but the Sky Blues managed to hold on, and keep the score down to a single goal.

After 35 minutes, Kyle Neill forced Murphy into a superb outstretched save from a long range free-kick. The left-footed drive from 30 yards was parried out for a corner by the Dundalk stopper.

Wright's Sky Blues flirted with a comeback in the remaining ten minutes of the half, with their only real chance of the half coming when Scates fired wide from a David Cushley cross. Glens goalkeeper, Michael Dougherty – making his first return to Warden Street since his infamous sending off for assaulting a United ballboy last season, was a virtual spectator for the half.

Cushley, incidentally was closely marked by Glentoran defence, and was roughed up by his opponents with Colin Nixon's trailing foot which caught the already floored teenager, went unnoticed by referee Brian Turkington.

Nixon and Daryl Fordyce were both booked in the closing minutes for reckless tackles on the talented winger, both arguably could have warranted a red card, as United still trailed going into the break.

Within 60 seconds of the restart, the East Belfast side effectively wrapped the game up. Kyle Neil's corner was flapped by Murphy only as far as the dangerous Gary Hamilton and he headed home easily from close range.

Gary Haveron fired a free-kick over the bar, as the Braidmen half-heartedly tried to get back into the game.

With 71 minutes on the clock, it was game, set and match for Glentoran. Thomas Wray lost possession to Kyle Neill, who interchanged passes with Scullion, before Neill fired in an excellent cross which Hamilton fired home for the third headed goal of the day.

Things just continued to get worse three minutes later, when Gary Haveron headed straight to Michael Halliday who skipped through and rounded Murphy in the United goal, and squeezed the ball in at a tight angle for number four to compound the Braidmen's day.

Ballymena's best chance of the afternoon came when there was little to play for, as Dougherty could only punch clear a corner as far as Randal Reid, who audaciously overhead kicked the ball off the far post with five minutes remaining.

United will have to improve drastically to earn a place in the semi-finals of the County Antrim Shield on Wednesday night against Crusaders at the Showgrounds.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

Squad Statistics (as at September 29th, 2007)

2007-2008 All Time
Paul Murphy (GK)22 9 - 49 -
Craig McClean22 8 - 67 -
Albert Watson22 8 - 1816
Thomas Wray23 3 - 3 -
Gary Haveron26 7 - 849
Gavin Melaugh26 4 - 11 -
Mark Picking31 944811
Garth Scates28 8213714
David Cushley18 4 - 10 -
Kevin Kelbie22 317334
Randal Reid21 81244
Jonathan Flynn (sub)17 1 - 1 -
Lee Patrick (sub)29 71557
Paul McNeill (sub)19 2 - 2 -

League Table (as at September 29th, 2007)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Glentoran 2 2 0 0 6
2. Distillery 2 2 0 0 6
3. Linfield 2 1 1 0 4
4. Cliftonville 2 1 1 0 4
5. Glenavon 2 1 0 1 3
6. Newry 2 1 0 1 3
7. Larne 2 1 0 1 3
8. Portadown 2 1 0 1 3
9. Donegal Celtic 2 1 0 1 3
10. Institute 2 1 0 1 3
11. Coleraine 2 1 0 1 3
12. BALLYMENA UTD 2 1 0 1 3
13. Armagh City 2 0 1 1 1
14. Crusaders 2 0 1 1 1
15. Limavady Utd 2 0 0 2 0
16. Dungannon 2 0 0 2 0