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Saturday 7th July v. HW Welders (away) - Friendly - k.o: TBC

Uploaded Wednesday, 10th Aug, 2016 at 23:01

Date: Wednesday, 10th August, 2016; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 1112;
Ballymena United [2] [3]
Glenavon [0] [3]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Tim Marshall; Assistant 1: Jarlath McElholm; Assistant 2: Ken Ross; 4th Official: Declan Hassan;
[1-0] OWENS, Kyle (13 mins), [2-0] OWENS, Kyle (39 mins), [3-0] FRIEL, Cathair (53 mins), [3-1] BATES, Guy (pen 56 mins), [3-2] MOORHOUSE, Greg (69 mins), [3-3] MARTYN, Ciaran (74 mins)

BALLYMENA United claimed their first point of the Danske Bank Premiership campaign with a 3-3 draw against Glenavon at the Showgrounds tonight.
Manager David Jeffrey's response to Saturday's 6-0 drubbing by Crusaders was to make four changes, including debuts for goalkeeper Ross Glendinning and left-back Danny Wallace. Leroy Millar was promoted from the bench to start on the left wing, while Tony Kane returned to midfield after suspension.
The game started at a frantic pace with both sides creating openings in the first minute. Firstly Greg Moorehouse's cross from the left for Glenavon was cut out at full stretch by Johnny Flynn who was able to deflect the ball back to Glendinning, while at the other end, Leory Millar's cross-shot caused Johny Tuffey a moment of anxiety before it drifted wide. United came close to opening the scoring on eight minutes when Allan Jenkins' deflected shot went inches wide of Tuffey's post, while the former Northern Ireland keeper excelled on nine minutes when he dived full length to his left to brilliantly palm Johnny McMurray's header to safety.
Ballymena's early promise eventually bore fruit on 13 minutes when centre-back Kyle Owens arrived to power home a downward header from Tony Kane's corner. Glenavon's first 'effort' on target came from an unlikely source as goalkeeper Johnny Tuffey's long clearance had Ross Glendinning back-pedalling before he comfortably fielded the ball under the posts.
Kyle Owens and his teammates celebrates the opening goal
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Ballymena had strong claims for a penalty waved away on 39 minutes as Cathair Friel tumbled under a challenge from Tuffey as the pair raced to claim a loose Kris Lindsay back header but referee Tim Marshall awarded a corner. Glenavon's reprieve was short-lived, however, as from the resultant corner, another pinpoint delivery from Tony Kane was met with another firm back post header by Owens.
Kyle Owens celebrates his second goal
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The visitors looked for an immediate response at the start of the second half and Andy Hall burst into the Ballymena penalty area, only to be thwarted by a timely interception from Jim Ervin. The visitors suffered another hammer blow as United added a third goal on 53 minutes. Johnny McMurray released strike partner Cathair Friel down the right-hand channel and he cut inside defender Andrew Doyle before beating Tuffey to mark his home debut with a goal.
Johnny McMurray in action against Glenavon
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Cathair Friel celebrates his goal
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The Lurgan Blues were handed a lifeline on 56 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Johnny Flynn's foul on Greg Moorhouse and Guy Bates blasted the spot kick up the middle beyond Glendinning. The visitors cut the deficit further on 69 minutes when Rhys Marshall's cross from the right was headed home by Greg Moorhouse.
Moorhouse was again involved two minutes later when his pass released Bates but the big striker's effort was turned around the post by Glendinning. Remarkably, Glenavon drew level on 74 minutes when player/manager Gary Hamilton's shot deflected into the path of Ciaran Martyn, who swivelled to fire a shot past Glendinning.
Ballymena were shell-shocked but came close to winning the game on 79 minutes when Tony Kane's volley from a narrow angle was brilliantly saved by Tuffey but it ended all square.
Ballymena United travel to Ferney Park on Saturday to face Ballinamallard United, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Stephen Alexander
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane ( 83), Kyle Owens, Johnny Flynn, Gary Thompson, Allan Jenkins, Cathair Friel, Daniel Wallace ( 57), Jim Ervin, Leroy Millar, Johnny McMurray ( Darren Henderson 54).

Subs not used: Alan Blayney, Conor McCloskey, Eoin Kane, Jason Johnstone.