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League (NIFL Premiership)
Allan Jenkins (77)
||Sean Mackle (55)|
1. Dwayne Nelson
3. Stephen McBride
21. Jim Ervin
2. Tony Kane
5. Jonathan Taylor
7. Gary Thompson
10. Allan Jenkins
11. David Cushley
14. Matthew Tipton
16. Matthew Shevlin
17. Michael Ruddy
22. Kyle McVey
19. Matthew Ferguson
15. Eoin Kane
6. Mark Magennis
Mark Magennis for Matthew Shevlin (67)
Tim Mouncey for Chris Casement (82)
Mark McAllister for Darren Murray (89)
|None.||Michael Gault (75)|
Raymond Hetherington (Referee)
BALLYMENA United drew at home to Portadown today, Jenkins levelling the game with less than 15 minutes to go.
In the 8th minute of the game, Robert Garrett was lucky to escape referee Raymond Hetherington's notebook after a poor challenge on Gary Thompson. United then won a corner which David Cushley swung into the box but Gareth Rodger headed just over. This was followed by a miskicked shot from Cushley from 30 yards out missing the target.
The first chance for the visitors came in the 17th minute, but Sean Mackle's curled effort went just past the post. Then United had a free kick from 25 yards out, Keith O'Hara lucky to escape a yellow card, but Cushley's deflected shot was stopped by the legs of Portadown keeper David Miskelly.
Moments later Dwayne Nelson was called into action, diving to save a long range shot from Gary Twigg, the corner easily defended by Matthew Tipton. In the 26th minute some nice play by Cushley led to Chris Ramsey attempting to trip him on the touchline but he missed and the play was brought back, yet another player lucky to escape a booking. Allan Jenkins reached the resulting free kick but shot wide of the post.
Garrett went on a run past several Ballymena players and hit a low shot from the edge of the box, but Nelson was equal to it. Portadown then won a free kick after Stephen McBride brought Ross Redmond down 30 yards from goal, Dwayne Nelson again equal to the ball into the box. On 37 minutes Jim Ervin required treatment after a collision with Miskelly, but was able to continue.
With 40 minutes on the clock Matthew Shevlin appeared to be dragged down in the penalty box, but the appeals were waved away. Just before the break United had a let off as a back pass towards Nelson found Twigg on his own in the box but he chose to pass to Darren Murray when he may have been better taking a shot.
Early in the second half Johnny Taylor had a chance to shoot but he stalled and allowed the Portadown defence to clear. On 54 minutes Dwayne Nelson came off his line to try and clear a ball in from Twigg, but he missed and Mackle was on hand to grab the opening goal. Shortly afterwards Murray had a free header from a Chris Casement cross but he missed the target.
Just before the hour mark Cushley put a fantastic ball into the back post but Tipton's shot was way off the target. Matthew Shevlin was replaced by Mark Magennis in the 65th minute, and it was almost a repeat of Wednesday night as Murray had a great chance to double the lead for Portadown, Nelson saving from a few yards.
On 70 minutes, Magennis had his first chance on goal but dragged it just wide. United levelled the scores with less than 15 minutes to go, Tipton crossing in, Cushley getting a touch on to Jenkins who headed past Miskelly.
In the last 5 minutes of the game, Ken Oman almost put the visitors ahead again, but his headed effort from a Redman corner caught the bar on it's way out for a goal kick. In injury time Magennis sent a great ball across the area with Tipton coming in, but he couldn't slide it into the net for the winner.
Match report written by Paul Irwin
|Dwayne Nelson (GK)||31||20||-||225||-|
|Mark Magennis (sub)||32||9||-||9||-|
* - Table split into two divisions of six.