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Saturday 16th December v. Carrick Rangers (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Carrick Rangers Match Preview
Uploaded Friday, 27th Jan, 2017 at 12:20

BALLYMENA United host Carrick Rangers in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday afternoon.
The last time the sides met Ballymena United won 2-0 at the Showgrounds thanks to late second half goals by Kyle Owens and Willie Faulkner.
Kyle Owens put United ahead in the 77th minute in the 2-0 win over Carrick in November
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Latest results v Carrick Rangers (all league unless stated):
Ballymena United 2-0 Carrick Rangers, Ballymena Showgrounds, 12th November 2016. Att: 839
Carrick Rangers 1-4 Ballymena United, Belfast Loughshore Arena, 26th August 2016. Att: 720
Carrick Rangers 0-2 Ballymena United, Belfast Loughshore Arena, 16th April 2016. Att: 564
Ballymena United 1-0 Carrick Rangers, Ballymena Showgrounds, 19th January 2016. Att: 657
Carrick Rangers 2-2 Ballymena United, Belfast Loughshore Arena, 31st October 2015. Att: 585
Ballymena United 1-1 Carrick Rangers, Ballymena Showgrounds, 28th August 2015. Att: 874
David Jeffrey applauding the fans for their support after the win in November
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Carrick Rangers:
Since the game in November, Carrick have won a single league game, drawn 3 and lost 6, and sit in 11th place in the table, 9 points ahead of bottom placed Portadown. In the NIFL League Cup they have beaten Dungannon Swifts 2-0 at home and Glenavon 1-0 at Mourneview Park to reach the final against Ballymena United, which takes place on Saturday 18th February at Seaview, kicking off at 5:30pm. They have strengthened their team in the transfer window with the signings of midfielder Eamon McAllister from Crewe United, right back Aaron Smyth, midfielder Sean Noble, striker Sam O'Connor, goalkeeper Yvan Imbert, versatile winger Reasat Khaton, defender Kyle McVey from Ballymena United (loan), midfielder Tzee Mustapha and striker Declan O'Brien from Glenavon.
Ballymena United:
In the same period Ballymena United have won 4 and lost 6 league games, leaving the Braidmen in 5th place in the table, a single point behind rivals Coleraine. In the NIFL League Cup United beat Warrenpoint Town 2-0 at Milltown Playing Fields and Coleraine 3-0 after extra-time at the Showgrounds to reach the final. United have released several players in the transfer window, but have brought in the exciting young player Joe McKinney who has been very impressive in his two games to date, and goalkeeper Timothy Allen.
League Cup Final Tickets:
Tickets for the League Cup Final go on sale before the game on Saturday. For more information please click here.
Match Officials:
Referee: Steven Taylor. Assistant 1: Gareth Eakin. Assistant 2: Adrian Sobieski. 4th Official: Shane Andrews.
Match Information:
Admission is payable at the gate.

Kick off is 3:00pm.
Most people will see this game as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming NIFL League Cup Final, but it's critical United approach it as a crucial league game in their quest to qualify for European competition next season. United have several key players returning from suspension, so make your way to the Showgrounds and get behind the Sky Blues!
Match Preview by Paul Irwin