Ballymena United 2
Warrenpoint Town 0
League (NIFL Premiership)

Ballymena United
2 - 0
Warrenpoint Town 

League (NIFL Premiership)
Saturday, August 9th, 2014
Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 606
3:00 PM Kick-off

David Cushley (15)
Neal Gawley (52)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Barry Gray

Starting Eleven
Dwayne Nelson
Stephen McBride
Mark McCullagh
Kyle McVey
Jonathan Taylor
4. Alan Davidson
Neal Gawley
10. Allan Jenkins
Alan Teggart
11. David Cushley
Matthew Tipton
Jonathan Parr
Darren King
Liam Bagnall
Dermot McVeigh
Stephen Moan
John Boyle
Stephen McDonnell
Martin Havern
Stephen McCabe
Ciaran Gargan
Daniel Hughes

David Munster
Michael Ruddy
Mark Surgenor
Gavin Taggart
Darren Henderson
Jonathan Cowan
Padraig Smith
Ruairi Devlin
Patrick Mooney
Timmy Grant

Darren Henderson for Neal Gawley (74)
Gavin Taggart for Alan Davidson (74)
Mark Surgenor for Alan Teggart (80)
Jonathan Cowan for Dermot McVeigh (74)
Padraig Smith for Stephen McDonnell (74)
Ruairi Devlin for Martin Havern (74)

None. Ciaran Gargan (20)
Stephen Moan (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Colin Burns (Referee)

Match Report

BALLYMENA United got off to a winning start in the new league campaign, defeating Warrenpoint Town 2-0 courtesy of superb efforts from David Cushley and Neal Gawley either side of half time.

United started brightly with David Cushley going close with just six minutes on the clock. Minutes later, Johnny Taylor fired over a half volley from Neal Gawley's corner as the hosts put visitors Warrenpoint under early pressure.

The Sky Blues continued to press and deservedly took the lead on 16 minutes. David Cushley collected the ball in a seemingly non-threatening position in midfield, before unleashing an unstoppable long range effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jonathan Parr. Cushley should have doubled his side's advantage six minutes later but skewed a glorious effort wide of goal after displaying great acceleration to race onto a through ball from Mark McCullagh.

Alan Teggert and debutant Kyle McVey both went close for United before Warrenpoint finally threatened. Striker Daniel Hughes shrugged off the challenge of defender Johnny Taylor to unleash a powerful effort on goal from the edge of the box, but United goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson was on hand to hold comfortably. Stephen McCabe had a further effort denied for Warrenpoint on the stroke of half time, after Alan Davidson had almost made it two for United thanks to some clever link up play with David Cushley.

Both sides traded chances early in the second half with first Matthew Tipton and then Mark Hughes going close before Neal Gawley effectively killed the game with a stunning effort on 53 minutes. Stephen McBride's cross from the left was controlled in midfield by the winger, who knocked the ball onto his left foot and unleashed a powerful, low effort into the corner of the goal amidst rapturous applause from the home crowd.

Matthew Tipton almost made it three on the hour mark, but Jonathan Parr was equal to his effort from inside the six yard box. Dwayne Nelson pulled off a stunning save from Stephen McCabe on 62 minutes to protect his clean sheet, denying Warrenpoint's best opportunity to get back into the game in the process. Tipton went close yet again for United in the closing stages, as did Mark Hughes for Warrenpoint but in the end the home defence held out to record a clean sheet and claim a most welcome opening day three points.

Match report written by Jordan Miller

Squad Statistics (as at August 9th, 2014)

2014-2015 All Time
Dwayne Nelson (GK)29 2 - 178 -
Stephen McBride31 2 - 22 -
Mark McCullagh27 2 - 44 -
Kyle McVey28 2 - 2 -
Jonathan Taylor26 2 - 717
Alan Davidson26 2 - 6810
Neal Gawley28 21132
Allan Jenkins32 2 - 11820
Alan Teggart27 2 - 12323
David Cushley25 2116439
Matthew Tipton34 2 - 2 -
Mark Surgenor (sub)28 1 - 16017
Gavin Taggart (sub)29 2 - 1455
Darren Henderson (sub)28 1 - 177

League Table (as at August 9th, 2014)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Portadown 1 1 0 0 3
2. BALLYMENA UTD 1 1 0 0 3
3. Crusaders 1 0 1 0 1
4. Dungannon 1 0 1 0 1
5. Glenavon 1 0 1 0 1
6. Institute 1 0 1 0 1
7. Ballinamallard Utd 1 0 1 0 1
8. Coleraine 1 0 1 0 1
9. Cliftonville 1 0 1 0 1
10. Glentoran 1 0 1 0 1
11. Warrenpoint Town 1 0 0 1 0
12. Linfield 1 0 0 1 0