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Saturday 28th April v. Crusaders (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Saturday, 13th Aug, 2016 at 17:23

Date: Saturday, 13th August, 2016; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 295;
Ballinamallard United [0] [0]
Ballymena United [0] [1]
Venue: Ferney Park; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Steven Taylor; Assistant 1: Ken Ross; Assistant 2: Darren Veighey; 4th Official: Paul Burns;
[0-1] KANE, Tony (pen 65 mins)

BALLYMENA United grabbed their first win of the season at Ballinamallard thanks to a Tony Kane penalty.
It was Ballymena United with all the early pressure in Fermanagh. Cathair Friel had a good chance early in the game after easily dispossessing Adam Lecky but his shot went wide. A series of crosses and corners came to the visitors, but they were unable to create a vital goal, Leroy Millar crashing a volley onto the post from just outside the box. On 15 minutes Friel had a penalty claim turned down by referee Steven Taylor after he appeared to have been brought down in the box by Ryan Morris. After 22 minutes Friel sent a ball into Allan Jenkins who had lost his marker, but he headed the ball over the bar. Moments later it was Neil Lowry with the chance to send a ball across the 6 yard box, but there was nobody there to finish.
It took the home side over half an hour to register a chance on target but Ross Glendinning easily saved. At the other end Gary Thompson slipped the ball into Friel but he was flagged for offside. With 35 minutes on the board Danny Wallace sent a fantastic ball through to Friel who brought it down and tried to lob the keeper, the ball bouncing just wide. A minute later Friel was the supplier as he squared the ball to Lowry who shot straight at the keeper.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, Friel coming close twice in the opening minutes, drilling the second agonisingly wide of Mallards keeper James McGrath. Just before the hour mark Millar sent the ball across to Lowry who tapped into the net, but it was ruled out for an offside offence. Moments later a free kick for the visitors led to a corner, but it came to nothing.
The Sky Blues made the breakthrough in the 65th minute, Tony Kane firing home from the penalty spot after Friel had been impeded by McGrath. On 72 minutes Gary Thompson drove a volley low and hard, forcing McGrath into a good save to prevent another goal. While the visitors continued to apply lots of pressure until the end of the game, they couldn't grab another goal, but the one turned out to be enough for the first win of the season.
Manager David Jeffrey said after the game "I asked the players before the game just to give me a clean sheet and we'll take it from there. I think we thoroughly deserved the three points, we created a number of chances and if there was a criticism it was that we didn't score more than the one goal. The players have responded in tremendous fashion who deserve full credit for carrying out the instruction on the pitch."
Next weekend the Sky Blues face Ards at the Showgrounds, kicking off at 3pm on Saturday.
Match Report by Paul Irwin
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane, Kyle Owens, Johnny Flynn, Gary Thompson, Allan Jenkins, Cathair Friel, Danny Wallace, Neil Lowry ( Matthew Shevlin 68), Jim Ervin, Leroy Millar ( Conor McCloskey 79 89).

Subs not used: Eoin Kane, Alan Blayney, Caolan Loughran.