Ballymena United 2
Crusaders 4
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
2 - 4

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, October 3rd, 2015
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,173
3:00 PM Kick-off

Allan Jenkins (20)
Gary Thompson (69)
Paul Heatley (pen.) (3)
Jordan Owens (37)
Gavin Whyte (70)
Jordan Forsythe (77)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Stephen Baxter

Starting Eleven
1. Dwayne Nelson
2. Tony Kane
5. Jonathan Taylor
21. Jim Ervin
Gareth Rodger
17. Michael Ruddy
10. Allan Jenkins
15. Eoin Kane
11. David Cushley
14. Matthew Tipton
16. Matthew Shevlin
Sean O'Neill
BJ Burns
Craig McClean
Andrew Mitchell
Joshua Robinson
Richard Clarke
Jordan Forsythe
Paul Heatley
Matthew Snoddy
Jordan Owens
Gavin Whyte

4. Patrick McNally
6. Mark Magennis
8. Gavin Taggart
7. Gary Thompson
27. Neal Gawley
Barry Molloy
David Magowan
Diarmuid O'Carroll
Stephen O'Flynn
Graeme McKibbin

Gary Thompson for Eoin Kane (58)
Mark Magennis for Matthew Tipton (80)
Neal Gawley for Michael Ruddy (84)
Barry Molloy for Gavin Whyte (80)

Michael Ruddy (5)
Jim Ervin (41)
Jonathan Taylor (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Ian McNabb (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United put up a battling performance today against league champions Crusaders, but were defeated by two goals in the end.

Crusaders were a goal ahead early in the game, as Paul Heatley converted a 3rd minute penalty after a trip on Jordan Owens in the box. The first chance for United came in the 13th minute as David Cushley laid off a free kick to Tony Kane who blasted the ball into the Crusaders wall.

With just under 20 minutes on the clock United had pulled level, Tony Kane crossing over his shoulder and Jenkins nudging in from a few yards out. A corner for the Braidmen in the 30th minute failed to beat the first man and was easily cleared by the Crusaders defenders. Moments later Matthew Tipton had a golden opportunity to put United into the lead after being tripped in the box, but he fired his penalty over the bar.

On 38 minutes the visitors were ahead again, Owens firing a header past keeper Dwayne Nelson.

Owens started the second half as he finished the first but this time his header went just wide of the post. Nelson had to be alert as Heatley tried a shot but he was more than equal to the threat.

Allan Jenkins thought he'd won a free kick after breaking through in the middle of the park, but referee Ian McNabb gave the free kick the other way, then after a few chances in the opposition penalty box, he again gave the free kick to Crusaders.

A mistake at the back from the home side allowed Gavin Whyte through but Nelson managed to save with his feet. United got the equaliser through substitute Gary Thompson on 67 minutes, but Crusaders were ahead again 2 minutes later as Whyte snuck through the back line and slotted home.

The Braidmen were almost level again a minute later, but Matthew Shevlin hit the post after waltzing through the defence. Shevlin got on the end of a free kick but shot straight at the keeper.

It was end to end stuff at the Showgrounds, some good play from Crusaders ending up in a corner. An easy header back across the goalmouth from the corner was turned in by Jordan Forsythe to put a bit of distance between the two sides.

In the last 10 minutes United had a long range free kick which Cushley fired well over the bar, and another free kick hit straight into the wall.

Match report written by Paul Irwin

Squad Statistics (as at October 3rd, 2015)

2015-2016 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)31 10 - 215 -
Michael Ruddy22 81753
Tony Kane28 6 - 1599
Jim Ervin30 101452
Jonathan Taylor27 7 - 11511
Gareth Rodger21 6161
Allan Jenkins33 11217134
Eoin Kane19 71151
Matthew Tipton35 1055724
Matthew Shevlin16 104145
David Cushley26 12421153
Mark Magennis (sub)32 3 - 3 -
Neal Gawley (sub)29 51536
Gary Thompson (sub)25 10212316

League Table (as at October 3rd, 2015)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Linfield 10 8 1 1 19 25
2. Crusaders 10 7 2 1 20 23
3. Cliftonville 10 6 2 2 4 20
4. Coleraine 10 6 1 3 1 19
5. Glenavon 10 4 3 3 11 15
6. Glentoran 10 3 3 4 -2 12
7. BALLYMENA UTD 10 3 2 5 -8 11
8. Carrick 10 2 3 5 -8 9
9. Ballinamallard Utd 10 2 2 6 -7 8
10. Dungannon 10 2 2 6 -12 8
11. Warrenpoint Town 10 1 1 8 -16 4

* - Table split into two divisions of six.