Ballymena United 6
Cliftonville 1
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
6 - 1

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, September 12th, 2015
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,023
3:00 PM Kick-off

Matthew Tipton (pen.) (28)
Matthew Tipton (pen.) (45)
David Cushley (56)
Michael Ruddy (77)
Jim Ervin (82)
Matthew Tipton (pen.) (86)
Chris Curran (49)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Tommy Breslin

Starting Eleven
1. Dwayne Nelson
21. Jim Ervin
17. Michael Ruddy
5. Jonathan Taylor
2. Tony Kane
12. William Faulkner
10. Allan Jenkins
15. Eoin Kane
14. Matthew Tipton
16. Matthew Shevlin
11. David Cushley
Peter Burke
Jaimie McGovern
Eamon Seydak
Jonathan Flynn
Caoimhin Bonner
Ryan Catney
George McMullan
Chris Curran
Stephen Garrett
David McDaid
Jay Donnelly

22. Kyle McVey
6. Mark Magennis
7. Gary Thompson
19. Matthew Ferguson
9. Darren Henderson
Ciaran Murray
Martin Murray
Martin Donnelly
Francis Brennan
Jude Winchester

Gary Thompson for William Faulkner (81)
Kyle McVey for Michael Ruddy (81)
Darren Henderson for Matthew Shevlin (85)
Ciaran Murray for George McMullan (57)
Martin Murray for Chris Curran (83)

Jim Ervin (40)
Michael Ruddy (52)
William Faulkner (71)
Caoimhin Bonner (23)
David McDaid (31)
Chris Curran (35)
Ryan Catney (61)
Jay Donnelly (69)
Ciaran Murray (72)

Red Cards
None. Peter Burke (45)
Match Officials

Tim Marshall (Referee)

Match Report

UNITED were in rampant form today, goals coming from Matthew Tipton (3), David Cushley, Michael Ruddy and Jim Ervin.

Moments after the game kicked off Matthew Shevlin broke free and the ball fell to David Cushley who shot low, but the ball went just wide of the post. With 7 minutes gone ex-United player Johnny Flynn had a chance but Dwayne Nelson got down to collect, and moments later had to make another save.

With 17 minutes on the clock, a misplaced cross from Shevlin hit the post and rebounded out of play for a goal kick. At the other end Jay Donnelly hit the bar with a header, before Shevlin cut in from the left and shot at goal but Reds keeper Peter Burke made an easy save.

Allan Jenkins nearly reached a through ball but it was put out for a corner. A poorly taken corner allowed Cliftonville to break, but thankfully the United defence got back in numbers to prevent a goal. On 27 minutes a penalty was awarded to the home side after Shevlin had been pushed over in the box, Matthew Tipton scoring from the spot.

At the very end of the first half Burke was sent off for a very poor challenge on Shevlin and a penalty was awarded to Ballymena, which Tipton scored to double the lead for United.

4 minutes into the second half Cliftonville had pulled a goal back after Chris Curran headed home from a cross into the box.

On 56 minutes the two goal lead was restored after Cushley got on the end of a long clearance and smashed the ball into the net from 20 yards. On the restart Shevlin played Jenkins through but his shot was put past the post by stand-in keeper Eamonn Seydak for a corner. Michael Ruddy had a good chance from the corner to head in at the back post but he headed just over the bar.

The link up play between Cushley and Shevlin was a delight to watch, the former taking the ball past the same man twice and crossing to the latter who headed just wide.
Cliftonville had a good period of play, Murray shooting straight at Nelson and a free kick just outside the box deflecting off the wall and out for a corner.

There was more joy in store for the Braidmen though as a Shevlin shot was saved by the keeper but captain Jim Ervin fired the rebound home. 3 minutes later Matthew Tipton sealed a hat-trick of penalties after Shevlin was taken down in the box again.

Match report written by Paul Irwin

Squad Statistics (as at September 12th, 2015)

2015-2016 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)31 6 - 211 -
Michael Ruddy22 51723
Jim Ervin30 61412
Tony Kane28 3 - 1569
Jonathan Taylor27 4 - 11211
Allan Jenkins33 8116833
Eoin Kane19 41121
William Faulkner25 6161
David Cushley26 8220751
Matthew Tipton35 745423
Matthew Shevlin16 74115
Kyle McVey (sub)29 6 - 182
Gary Thompson (sub)25 6 - 11914
Darren Henderson (sub)29 5 - 6821

League Table (as at September 12th, 2015)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Linfield 7 6 0 1 14 18
2. Crusaders 7 5 1 1 13 16
3. Cliftonville 7 4 1 2 1 13
4. Coleraine 7 4 0 3 -2 12
5. Glenavon 6 3 1 2 10 10
6. Glentoran 7 2 3 2 -1 9
7. Carrick 7 2 2 3 -2 8
8. BALLYMENA UTD 7 2 1 4 -7 7
9. Dungannon 7 2 1 4 -8 7
10. Ballinamallard Utd 7 1 1 5 -7 4
11. Warrenpoint Town 7 1 1 5 -9 4

* - Table split into two divisions of six.