Dungannon Swifts 1
Ballymena United 0
League (Irish Premier League)


1 - 0

Ballymena United

League (Irish Premier League)
Saturday, November 18th, 2006
Stangmore Park
3:00 PM Kick-off

Paul Murphy (o.g.) (81) None.

Team Managers
Unknown. Tommy Wright

Starting Eleven
Dwayne Nelson
Thomas Wray
G Fitzpatrick
T Fitzpatrick
Rodney McAree
Rory Hamill
Mark McAllister
David Scullion
Paul Murphy
Nigel Boyd
Aaron Callaghan
Darren Murphy
Albert Watson
Gary Haveron
Mark Picking
Garth Scates
Aidan Watson
Kevin Kelbie
Randal Reid

Johnny Montgomery
Niall McGinn
Gareth McConaghie
Stuart King
Darren Fitzgerald

None. Stuart King for Darren Murphy (4)
Darren Fitzgerald for Randal Reid (78)
Gareth McConaghie for Aaron Callaghan (85)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Colin Burns (Newtownabbey) (Referee)

Match Report

THE long wait for an away victory goes on for Ballymena United after they lost 1-0 at Dungannon Swifts goes on.

Shane McCabe's 81st minute strike from the narrowest of angles, after he had robbed Aidan Watson of possession, was enough to condemn the Sky Blues to their eighth winless game 'on the road' this season.

"It's déjà vu - exactly the same thing all over again of putting in a decent performance but making a crucial mistake," sighed manager Tommy Wright.

"Aidan should have cleared the ball into row Z but instead he allowed himself to be robbed and the end result was a goal which was very harsh on us."

The game appeared to be heading for a scoreless stalemate until the pivotal moment nine minutes from time. With an over-hit through ball seemingly heading out for a goal kick, Watson, covering from midfield, attempted to shepherd the ball over the bye-line for a goal kick.

McCabe refused to give the ball up and somehow got around Watson, kept the ball in and drilled it across the face of goal where it appeared to take a touch off United keeper Paul Murphy before somehow squeezing into the net.

It was a cruel way for United to lose in a game which had been high in endeavour but ultimately low on quality.

The visitors suffered an early blow when midfielder Darren Murphy had to be replaced by Stuart King in the fourth minute after suffering concussion when he took a full-blooded clearance from Thomas Wray full in the face.

Ballymena, although faced with the tricky and skilful attack of David Scullion, Michael Ward and former player Rory Hamill, created the better of the chances in the first half.

But it was another ex-Sky Blues player - goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson - who was Swifts' hero with two crucial saves, firstly blocking Randal Reid's effort with his chest after the young striker had been released by Mark Picking, and then Picking himself saw his effort a few minutes later saved by the shins of Nelson.

An even more clear-cut chance came four minutes before the interval when Kevin Kelbie - restored to the starting line-up after suspension, in place of the injured Austin Friel - produced a magnificent cross from the right flank but last week's goal hero Reid could only head a yard wide of the target from eight yards.

Ballymena again went close five minutes into the second period when full-back Aaron Callaghan teed up Picking, but like a similar effort at Limavady seven days earlier, the winger's long-range shot clipped the crossbar on its way over.

Dungannon were much more of a threat in the second period and they provided a warning when McCabe's 25-yard shot bounced off the chest off Murphy but the keeper recovered to grab the loose ball ahead of Mark McAllister.

Swifts went even closer on 68 minutes when Hamill stood a cross up to the back post and Ward rose above Albert Watson but his header came back off the crossbar with Murphy beaten but thankfully Gary Haveron was on hand to clear.

Then with time running out came the goal and although Dungannon captain Gary Fitzpatrick was sent off with six minutes left for a second booking, Ballymena were unable to snatch an equaliser.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

Squad Statistics (as at November 18th, 2006)

2006-2007 All Time
Paul Murphy (GK)21 16 - 16 -
Nigel Boyd33 12 - 36922
Aaron Callaghan20 15 - 15 -
Darren Murphy31 141141
Albert Watson21 1511505
Gary Haveron25 141575
Mark Picking30 153153
Garth Scates27 1521068
Aidan Watson20 11 - 423
Kevin Kelbie21 1564622
Randal Reid20 2151
Gareth McConaghie (sub)18 3 - 3 -
Stuart King (sub)25 5 - 403
Darren Fitzgerald (sub)28 8 - 195

League Table (as at November 18th, 2006)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Glentoran 9 8 1 0 25
2. Crusaders 9 7 1 1 22
3. Linfield 9 6 2 1 20
4. Cliftonville 9 6 2 1 20
5. Portadown 9 5 2 2 17
6. Dungannon 9 5 1 3 16
7. Newry 9 3 4 2 13
8. Coleraine 9 3 1 5 10
9. Glenavon 9 3 1 5 10
10. BALLYMENA UTD 9 2 3 4 9
11. Distillery 9 2 3 4 9
12. Limavady Utd 9 2 2 5 8
13. Donegal Celtic 9 1 4 4 7
14. Armagh City 9 2 1 6 7
15. Larne 9 1 1 7 4
16. Loughgall 9 0 3 6 3