Ballymena United 0
Coleraine 2
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
0 - 2

League (NIFL Premiership)
Friday, February 12th, 2016
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,367
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Darren McCauley (51)
James McLaughlin (64)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Oran Kearney

Starting Eleven
18. Alan Blayney
2. Tony Kane
21. Jim Ervin
3. Stephen McBride
4. Patrick McNally
8. Gavin Taggart
Jonathan Frazer
10. Allan Jenkins
Leroy Millar
15. Eoin Kane
11. David Cushley
Chris Johns
Howard Beverland
David Ogilby
Lyndon Kane
Mark Edgar
Ruaidhri Higgins
Ruairi Harkin
Darren McCauley
Sammy Morrow
James McLaughlin
Ian Parkhill

28. Michael Smith
7. Gary Thompson
19. Matthew Ferguson
9. Darren Henderson
14. Matthew Tipton
Jamie McGonigle
Adam Mullan
Brad Lyons
Neil McCafferty
John Watt

Gary Thompson for Gavin Taggart (60)
Darren Henderson for Eoin Kane (70)
Matthew Tipton for David Cushley (79)
Jamie McGonigle for Darren McCauley (68)
Adam Mullan for Ian Parkhill (70)
Brad Lyons for James McLaughlin (81)

Gavin Taggart (29)
Stephen McBride (48)
Jonathan Frazer (90)
Mark Edgar (43)
Brad Lyons (82)

Red Cards
None. Sammy Morrow (65)
Mark Edgar (69)
Match Officials

Keith Kennedy (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United were beaten by their derby rivals at home tonight, goals coming from McCauley and McLaughlin.

In the opening minutes of the game Coleraine won a throw in at the half way line and worked it up to the byline, before a long cross went right over the Ballymena box and out for a throw to the home side. It took until the 13th minute before United registered a chance, but David Cushley couldn't get any power behind the ball, making it easy for Coleraine keeper Chris Johns.

On the quarter hour Tony Kane had the ball at his feet but he blazed his shot over the bar.

A long run down the right in the 20th minute by Jonny Frazer led to an opportunity for Allan Jenkins to shoot but his curling effort was tipped over, the resulting corner providing nothing of note. As the game approached the half hour mark, some good play led to a United corner which was taken short to Cushley who brushed the post with the ball as it went out for a goal kick.
Ballymena were having most of the play and looked the more threatening side, and it almost paid off as Jonny Frazer eased past a defender and forced Johns into a save. Moments later at the other end Alan Blayney had to be ready to out jump a striker to grab the ball.

As the break was approaching there was a rise in tempo from both sides, a real midfield battle developing with few clear cut chances. A throw at the half way line for the Sky Blues was worked through to Cushley but his shot was wide of the mark. Both sides had corners in the last 2 minutes of the half, neither able to take advantage.

The home side won a corner at the start of the second half but again it was dealt with by the Coleraine defence. Moments later the visitors sent a corner kick into the Ballymena box and a shot from James McLaughlin was deflected behind for another corner, which was easily dealt with. On 51 minutes Darren McCauley walked the ball into the United box and his shot deflected off Paddy McNally past Blayney.

Coleraine continued to pile on the pressure, Ruairi Harkin firing a half volley over the bar and McCauley shooting wide. Debutant Jonny Frazer crossed in for Tony Kane to head but it went wide. Frazer then set up Cushley to equalise in the 57th minute but, when he had the chance to hit it first time with his right, he chose to take it on his right and sent it over the bar. The visitors were 2 goals ahead in the 64th minute, Ian Parkhill crossing to McLaughlin who hit the net.

Before the game had reached the 70th minute mark Coleraine were down to 9 men, Sammy Morrow shown a straight red and Mark Edgar seeing a second yellow from referee Keith Kennedy. Another good chance fell to Cushley but again he couldn't find the target. United sent a corner into the Coleraine box in the 83rd minute but it was easily cleared, then on 84 minutes a shot from a few yards out was blocked as the home side kept trying to pull a goal back.
In the dying minutes United sent a series of corners into the box but they came to nothing and it looked as if it wouldn't be their night. Deep into injury time substitute Darren Henderson had shot on target, forcing a save, but that was the last meaningful action of the game.

Match report written by Paul Irwin

Squad Statistics (as at February 12th, 2016)

2015-2016 All Time
Alan Blayney (GK)34 14 - 52 -
Stephen McBride32 171751
Patrick McNally21 122212
Jim Ervin30 321672
Tony Kane28 26117910
Allan Jenkins34 34919441
Eoin Kane20 172252
Leroy Millar20 111131
Jonathan Frazer19 1 - 1 -
Gavin Taggart31 12 - 1706
David Cushley26 341423363
Gary Thompson (sub)25 29414218
Darren Henderson (sub)30 2128423
Matthew Tipton (sub)35 2096728

League Table (as at February 12th, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Crusaders 26 19 5 2 37 62
2. Linfield 27 17 4 6 35 55
3. Cliftonville 26 15 8 3 16 53
4. Glenavon 26 14 7 5 27 49
5. Coleraine 27 15 3 9 6 48
6. Glentoran 25 9 6 10 -6 33
7. BALLYMENA UTD 27 8 4 15 -20 28
8. Ballinamallard Utd 26 5 5 16 -17 20
9. Dungannon Swifts 25 5 5 15 -18 20
10. Carrick Rangers 25 4 8 13 -20 20
11. Warrenpoint Town 26 5 4 17 -25 19

* - Table split into two divisions of six.