2 - 0
League (NIFL Premiership)
Jonathan Smith (pen.) (9)
Ciaran Caldwell (22)
Alan Blayney .18
Tony Kane .2
Jim Ervin .21
Stephen McBride .3
Kyle McVey .22
Allan Jenkins .10
Gavin Taggart .8
Gary Thompson .7
Darren Henderson .9
William Faulkner .12
Matthew Ferguson .19
Eoin Kane .15
Michael Smith .28
Matthew Tipton .14
Chris Morrow for Steven Gordon (46)
David Scullion for Ciaran Caldwell (62)
Dale Patton for Chris Lavery (90)
Matthew Tipton for Darren Henderson (56)
William Faulkner for Leroy Millar (60)
Eoin Kane for Gavin Taggart (72)
Jonathan Smith (55)
Chris Morrow (63)
Jonathan Addis (70)
Chris Lavery (84)
Gavin Taggart (34)
Darren Henderson (40)
Raymond Hetherington (Referee)
BALLYMENA United's frailties were exposed again today as they lost to Glentoran at The Oval.
The home side had the first chance of the game after 5 minutes, Jonny Addis playing a ball through to Jonathan Smith who sent his shot over the bar. On 8 minutes Glentoran won a penalty, Smith upended by Jim Ervin, and Smith converting the spot kick to give the Glens the lead.
Smith had a chance to extend the lead on 14 minutes, but sliced the ball wide of the post. With 18 minutes on the clock Blayney dropped a ball and Ervin had to come to his rescue to prevent a second goal. United were under severe pressure as the goal was peppered with shots and on 21 minutes Ciaran Caldwell doubled the lead after a great run.
On 24 minutes United had their first glimpse of the Glentoran goalmouth, the shot going well wide of the post. A minute later Elliot Morris was forced into a save from Darren Henderson, who was starting only his second league game of the season. This wasn't masking the problems at the back of the park though, and the visitors were lucky to be only two goals down.
With 34 minutes gone Glentoran had a free kick after a foul on Caldwell, but it came to nothing. A few minutes later a corner was whipped in and Jay Magee headed just wide of the post. As the Glens continued to pile on the pressure Curtis Allen had a shot on target but it was easily gathered by Blayney. In the 40th minute the home side had yet another corner, a foul on Chris Lavery by Henderson, but it came to nothing.
The opening period of the second half could only be described as tedious, with Henderson coming off to be replaced by Matthew Tipton in the 55th minute. Lavery had a shot for the home side deflected behind for a corner, but it failed to produce a chance. United then had a chance but the ball was never in danger of going near the Glens net.
Willie Faulkner came on to replace Leroy Millar just before the hour mark, as Glenn Ferguson tried everything he could to get his team back into the game. Almost immediately United won a free kick but again it didn't trouble Glens keeper Morris. It was the 70th minute before United could muster another shot on target, but again Morris was more than equal to it.
Glentoran had a chance cleared off the line as the last 10 minutes of the game approached, and at the other end United shot over the bar. The visitors were getting opportunities to score but a combination of good keeping from Morris and poor finishing from United kept the ball from hitting the back of the net and it was a 4th defeat in a row for the Braidmen.
Match report written by Paul Irwin
|Alan Blayney (GK)||34||15||-||53||-|
|William Faulkner (sub)||26||24||3||24||3|
|Eoin Kane (sub)||20||18||2||26||2|
|Matthew Tipton (sub)||35||21||9||68||28|
* - Table split into two divisions of six.