Ballymena United 3
Portadown 0
League (NIFL Premiership)


Ballymena United
3 - 0
Portadown 

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, March 11th, 2017
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 1,045
3:00 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Michael Kerr (50)
Jonathan Flynn (59)
Tony Kane (pen.) (77)
None.

Team Managers
David Jeffrey
Niall Currie

Starting Eleven
Tim Allen
2. Tony Kane
Michael Kerr
21. Jim Ervin
Jonathan Flynn
Gary Thompson
William Faulkner
Leroy Millar
Kevin Braniff
Joseph McKinney
Jonathan McMurray
Jack Duffin
Ken Oman
Brendan Shannon
Jordan Lyttle
Sean Mackle
Matthew Hazley
Robert Garrett
Niall Henderson
Shea McGerrigan
Mark McAllister
Stephen Hughes

Bench
Ross Glendinning
Caolan Loughran
Allan Jenkins
Conor McCloskey
Cathair Friel
Marcio Soares
Adam Foley
Scott Megaw
Jackson Holmes
Liam Hughes

Substitutions
Allan Jenkins for Tony Kane (77)
Conor McCloskey for William Faulkner (85)
Cathair Friel for Jonathan McMurray (88)
Marcio Soares for Mark McAllister (59)
Adam Foley for Stephen Hughes (66)
Scott Megaw for Robert Garrett (88)

Cautions
None. None.

Red Cards
None. Ken Oman (62)
Match Officials

Steven Gregg (Referee)




Match Report


BALLYMENA United recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Portadown today at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

The home side dominated the first half possession and always looked the most likely to go ahead. United had the first chance in the 5th minute when Johnny McMurray set up Kevin Braniff, but his low curling shot skidded just past the post. Portadown had their first chance courtesy of a free kick by Niall Henderson from all of 25 yards, but he too sent his effort narrowly wide.

A lively McMurray worked his first chance half way through the first half, fantastically turning his marker, however he could only blast his attempt high over the Ports goal. Minutes later Willie Faulkner embarked on a promising run into the box but slightly lost his footing as he pulled the trigger, before firing over. As the away side tried to create chances towards the end of the half, they should've taken an surprise lead through Robert Garrett. Forward Stephen Hughes did well to play in Garrett who went one on one with Tim Allen, but the Australian 'keeper somehow made the stop on his second Sky Blues debut.

With the last play of the half Tony Kane had a great chance to give United the lead at the break, but unmarked, he couldn't keep his attempt on target from the edge of the box.

Ballymena kicked off an impressive second half in style when they took a deserved lead five minutes in. Neat build up play saw Faulkner find McMurray who took the ball to the by-line, before playing it into the six yard box were the unlikely source of debutant Michael Kerr was on hand to mark his first game with a goal.

The lead was doubled shortly after by another of the back four, as Johnny Flynn got on the end of a Kane corner to easily head home and give the Sky Blues breathing space. In a rare venture forward in the second half, Portadown almost pulled a goal back. Jim Ervin was unaware of Shea McGerrigan when attempting a back pass and the Ports man intercepted the ball, but Allen was on hand to save well for a corner.

From that corner Portadowns day got worse when defender Ken Oman received a straight red for kicking out at Flynn in the Ballymena box. It was then Flynn who went close to his second of the game at the other end. A Kerr cross was spilled by Ports stopper Jack Duffin and fell nicely to Flynn, but Duffin made up for his error with a good save.

With 14 minutes left on the clock Duffin presented Ballymena with a chance for a third when he brought down Joe McKinney in the box. Tony Kane stepped up and dispatched his 13th penalty of the season to compound the bottom side's misery.

Late on it was almost a fourth when Brendan Shannon turned a corner onto his own post, but the scoreline stayed at 3-0 as United put last weeks disappointment fully behind them.

Match report written by Phillip McPeake



Squad Statistics (as at March 11th, 2017)


2016-2017 All Time
Age
Tim Allen (GK)24 1 - 13 -
Jonathan Flynn27 121272
Tony Kane29 381922731
Jim Ervin31 40 - 1182
Michael Kerr19 1111
Gary Thompson26 19 - 16918
Leroy Millar21 321502
William Faulkner27 3646910
Joseph McKinney23 7 - 7 -
Kevin Braniff34 5252
Jonathan McMurray22 33123312
Conor McCloskey (sub)25 244244
Allan Jenkins (sub)35 39624449
Cathair Friel (sub)23 39193919



League Table (as at March 11th, 2017)


Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Crusaders 31 23 6 2 43 75
2. Linfield 30 19 8 3 44 65
3. Cliftonville 30 16 6 8 16 54
4. Coleraine 30 15 8 7 15 53
5. BALLYMENA UTD 30 16 3 11 4 51
6. Glenavon 31 11 12 8 5 45
7. Dungannon Swifts 31 9 9 13 0 36
8. Ards 31 9 6 16 -11 33
9. Glentoran 31 8 9 14 -11 33
10. Ballinamallard Utd 31 8 5 18 -25 29
11. Carrick Rangers 31 4 6 21 -39 18
12. Portadown 31 5 4 22 -41 7

* - Table split into two divisions of six.