Ballymena United 0
Cliftonville 1
League (Irish Premier League)


Ballymena United
0 - 1
Cliftonville 

League (Irish Premier League)
Saturday, October 13th, 2007
Ballymena Showgrounds
3:00 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
None. Barry Holland (61)

Team Managers
Tommy Wright
Eddie Patterson

Starting Eleven
Paul Murphy
Jonathan Flynn
Simon Kelly
Craig McClean
Albert Watson
Stuart King
Gavin Melaugh
Mark Picking
Garth Scates
Kevin Kelbie
Davitt Walsh
John Connolly
Aaron Smyth
Ronan Scannell
Barry Johnston
Declan O'Hara
Barry Holland
John Martin
Kieran O'Connor
Chris Scannell
Ryan Catney
Francis Murphy

Bench
Thomas Wray
Gary Haveron
Stephen Lowry
Darren Fitzgerald
Randal Reid
Stephen O'Neill
George McMullan
John Gowdy
Ciaran Boyd
Niall Devine

Substitutions
Darren Fitzgerald for Davitt Walsh (71)
Stephen Lowry for Mark Picking (71)
Randal Reid for Craig McClean (82)
Stephen O'Neill for John Martin (78)
George McMullan for Francis Murphy (84)

Cautions
None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Colin Burns (Newtownabbey) (Referee)


Match Report


BARRY Holland's 61st minute strike was enough to condemn Ballymena United to their fifth straight defeat against Cliftonville.

Despite this defeat the standard in performance was an improvement in recent weeks from Tommy Wright's side.

Cliftonville, who were missing five players through injury, started brightly as Chris Scannell threatened; but it was Ballymena who got themselves back into the game and had the first real opportunity of the game.

On 22 minutes, Johnny Flynn's long ball forward wasn't dealt with by Ronan Scannell in the Cliftonville defence, allowing United's leading scorer Davitt Walsh to break clear – however his strike was saved comfortably by John Connolly.

The first half remained fairly even with Francis Murphy coming close for the visitors, only to see his shot saved by his namesake, Paul.

Reds' defender Aaron Smyth was lucky to stay on the pitch in the closing minutes in the first half, as he was only shown a yellow card for his two footed lunge on Craig McClean.

Ballymena paid for their lack of creativity on the hour mark, as referee Colin Burns dubiously adjudged that Barry Johnston's shot had deflected off Paul Murphy, and awarded a corner.

From said corner, Francis Murphy found Barry Holland on the edge of the box – who drilled the ball through a static United defence for the only goal of the game.

United had to call on their captain to stop them going further behind, as Albert Watson cleared the ball off the line from a Ryan Catney attempt.

United's only real chance of the half came in the last minutes, as Darren Fitzgerald's volley was comfortably saved by John Connolly as Cliftonville held out for the three points to go top of the Carnegie Irish Premier League.

"That's probably the proudest I've been of my players in defeat," said United manager Tommy Wright.

"Cliftonville probably started a wee bit better but we weathered their storm and after that there was only one team dominated.

"The supporters were very good to us and we appreciated their backing and their applause. They cheered us off at half-time and stood up and applauded us at full-time.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website



Squad Statistics (as at October 13th, 2007)


2007-2008 All Time
Age
Paul Murphy (GK)22 12 - 52 -
Jonathan Flynn17 4141
Simon Kelly23 10 - 231
Craig McClean22 12 - 71 -
Albert Watson22 12 - 1856
Stuart King26 81686
Gavin Melaugh26 7 - 14 -
Mark Picking31 1245111
Garth Scates28 12214114
Kevin Kelbie22 717734
Davitt Walsh21 7676
Stephen Lowry (sub)20 8 - 20 -
Darren Fitzgerald (sub)29 724510
Randal Reid (sub)21 111274



League Table (as at October 13th, 2007)


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