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

Uploaded Saturday, 10th Sep, 2016 at 22:14

Date: Saturday, 10th September, 2016; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 1019;
Ballymena United [0] [3]
Cliftonville [1] [2]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Arnold Hunter; Assistant 1: Richard Storey; Assistant 2: David Anderson; 4th Official: Tim Marshall;
[0-1] McDAID, David (22 mins), [1-1] KANE, Tony (pen 60 mins), [2-1] FRIEL, Cathair (80 mins), [3-1] KANE, Tony (pen 85 mins), [3-2] LAVERY, Ross (88 mins)

Ballymena United moved into the top half of the Danske Bank Premiership after a 3-2 win over Cliftonville at the Showgrounds today.
Tony Kane kept up his 100 per cent record from the penalty spot by converting two penalties either side of a goal from Cathair Friel, who netted for the fifth game in a row. Earlier, United had fallen behind to a David McDaid goal, while Ross Lavery's late strike for Cliftonville ensured a grandstand finish but Ballymena held on to claim their first home league win of the campaign.
A minute's silence, in memory of Walter McBurney, brother of main sponsor Norman McBurney MBE, who passed away recently, was held before the game kicked off.
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United, who were missing Allan Jenkins through illness, created two clear-cut chances inside the opening two minutes. With just 35 seconds on the clock, Cathair Friel set up strike partner Johnny McMurray but he could only shoot tamely at Jason Mooney. Then Friel's cross from the right was touched on by McMurray into the path of Conor McCloskey but the winger miskicked his effort wide when well placed.
Those misses proved even more costly as Cliftonville went in front on 22 minutes. Jude Winchester's clever pass inside Danny Wallace sent Stephen Garrett clear inside the penalty area and his low cross from the right was converted from close range by David McDaid. It could have been worse for Ballymena minutes later when Ruairi Harkin's free kick was headed over by unmarked Cliftonville skipper Jason McGuinness.
United came close to equalising when Gary Thompson's drive fizzed past the post with Mooney scrambling across his goal. Ballymena pressed for an equaliser in the second half and they levelled on the hour mark after Eamonn Seydak bundled Conor McCloskey over as the pair chased a loose ball in the penalty area. Referee Arnold Hunter awarded the penalty and Tony Kane sent Mooney the wrong way for his third goal of the season.
An Eamonn Seydak foul on Conor McCloskey gave Tony Kane the chance to score from the penalty spot
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Tony celebrates after scoring the equalising goal
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Ballymena came close to going ahead on 71 minutes when defender Kyle Owens headed just wide from Conor McCloskey's long throw. The home side eventually went in front on 79 minutes when the in-form Cathair Friel found a yard of space in the penalty area and his shot took a wicked deflection off Jason McGuinness to wrong-foot keeper Mooney.
Cathair Friel celebrates after putting United ahead
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Ballymena looked to have wrapped up victory with five minutes left when Kane again converted from the penalty spot after McMurray's cross had been adjudged to have been handled by Seydak.
Celebration time again for Tony Kane
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Ross Lavery gave Cliftonville a brief glimmer of hope with two minutes left with a neat turn and finish but United held on to claim three vital points, ahead of next Saturday's trip to Portadown.
Manager David Jeffrey commented after the game "We play a really attractive brand of football, it's very pleasing on the eye, we create chances and we put them into the back of the net. The secret will be to defend as well as we finish, but overall I've got to say I'm very very proud, very pleased with the players, they worked tremendously hard."
David Jeffrey was pleased with the performance
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United travel to Shamrock Park to face Portadown in the Danske Bank Premiership, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Paul Irwin
Ballymena United Team:
Alan Blayney, Tony Kane, Kyle Owens, Gary Thompson ( 43), Conor McCloskey ( Willie Faulkner 77), Cathair Friel ( 90), Danny Wallace ( 26), Jim Ervin ( 58), Leroy Millar, Johnny McMurray, Caolan Loughran.

Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Eoin Kane, Denver Gage, Francis McCaffrey.