Limavady United 3
Ballymena United 1
League (Irish Premier League)

Limavady Utd 

3 - 1

Ballymena United

League (Irish Premier League)
Friday, March 28th, 2008
Limavady Showgrounds
3:00 PM Kick-off

Gareth Tommins (40)
Brian McClean (68)
Gareth Tommins (84)
Gavin Melaugh (20)

Team Managers
Ollie Mullan Tommy Wright

Starting Eleven
Glenn Millar
Liam Kearney
Eoghan Kelly
David King
Ryan Mullan
Gareth Tommins
Gary Crossan
Brian McClean
Declan McKeever
Paul Brown
Ryan McIlmoyle
Paul Murphy
Craig McClean
Albert Watson
Thomas Wray
Simon Kelly
Gavin Melaugh
Stuart King
Lee Patrick
Stephen Lowry
Kevin Kelbie
Michael Ward

Paul Gaston
David Bell
Conor Lynch
Barry Curran
Matthew Boyd
Gary Haveron
Mark Picking
Garth Scates
Davitt Walsh
David Cushley

Paul Gaston for Liam Kearney (46)
David Bell for Eoghan Kelly (63)
Barry Curran for Gary Crossan (63)
Garth Scates for Lee Patrick (73)
Mark Picking for Stephen Lowry (73)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Mark Courtney (Dungannon) (Referee)

Match Report

WE'VE had the leg of lamb…now comes an 'offal' result.

After the mayhem of Distillery and defeats by relegation battlers Larne and Limavady all inside a week, this must be the seven-day equivalent of what the Queen once famously referred to as her annus horribilis.

More importantly, it has taken Ballymena United from a position where they would, by now, have expected to have had sixth position in the bag with fifth in their sights, to looking anxiously over their shoulder at the chasing pack.

"The scoreline is a false reflection on the game – Paul Murphy didn't have a save to make - but the reality is that they scored three goals and it's a terrible result for us," said United boss Tommy Wright.

"The most disappointing thing is that it was so one-sided in the first half hour and we got our goal but then we started to mess about and take too many touches.

Second half we weren't as good as in the first half but we still had the better chances but we overplayed in good positions.

"Our performance wasn't bad but we lost momentum and where we lost the game was letting them back into the game far too easily in the last 15 minutes of the first half when we had dominated.

"For their second goal we had eight players back and they had only five forward yet we still allowed McIlmoyle to lay it back for McClean to shoot – no-one took responsibility for closing down a shot from outside the box and by the third goal, we looked as if we had given up the ghost.

"I asked for certain things from the players and I know I didn't get them. It might now be, from a situation of looking for two or three more players, it might be three or four because sometimes I think our players believe they have arrived.

"That's been the case since we won at Glentoran on New Year's Day and that's not good enough," fumed Wright.

Ballymena's territorial domination in the first half was rewarded with a nicely crafted goal on 20 minutes.

Kevin Kelbie outmuscled a defender before curling a low pass into the penalty area which was guided first time into the corner of the net by the in-rushing Gavin Melaugh.

But despite spending much of the half encamped in the Limavady half, Ballymena looked susceptible at the back and Gareth Tommins' well-struck first-time volley levelled the scores five minutes before the interval.

That goal gave Limavady a boost and they took the lead on 68 minutes when Ryan McIlmoyle ran at a back-pedalling United defence before laying the ball back for Brian McClean – a Ballymena reserve team player during Kenny Shiels' time in charge - to drill a 20-yard shot past Paul Murphy.

And Ballymena's fate was sealed with six minutes left when Barry Curran's right wing cross was met with a textbook near post header by Tommins, the ball entering the top corner of the net at the stanchion.

Match report written by Ballymena Times

Squad Statistics (as at March 28th, 2008)

2007-2008 All Time
Paul Murphy (GK)23 36 - 76 -
Thomas Wray24 181181
Craig McClean22 33 - 92 -
Simon Kelly23 252383
Albert Watson22 3322068
Stephen Lowry21 263383
Lee Patrick29 261747
Gavin Melaugh26 314384
Stuart King27 272877
Kevin Kelbie23 311510148
Michael Ward23 8 - 8 -
Garth Scates (sub)28 35416416
Mark Picking (sub)32 2846711

League Table (as at March 28th, 2008)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 26 20 4 2 64
2. Glentoran 26 19 4 3 61
3. Cliftonville 26 18 5 3 59
4. Distillery 26 14 7 5 49
5. Portadown 26 15 2 9 47
6. BALLYMENA UTD 26 11 5 10 38
7. Crusaders 26 10 7 9 37
8. Newry 26 11 3 12 36
9. Coleraine 26 9 6 11 33
10. Dungannon 26 8 8 10 32
11. Donegal Celtic 26 6 7 13 25
12. Glenavon 26 7 2 17 23
13. Larne 26 6 4 16 22
14. Armagh City 26 5 5 16 20
15. Limavady Utd 26 5 5 16 20
16. Institute 26 4 6 16 18