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Saturday 29th April v. Coleraine (away) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Saturday, 15th Oct, 2016 at 22:56

Date: Saturday, 15th October, 2016; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 1490;
Ballymena United [1] [2]
Crusaders [1] [1]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Steven Taylor; Assistant 1: Adrian Sobieski; Assistant 2: Gareth Eakin; 4th Official: Declan Hassan;
Goals:
[0-1] ERVIN, Jim (og 26 mins), [1-1] KANE, Tony (pen 34 mins), [2-1] COATES, Colin (og 89 mins)

10-MAN Ballymena United downed league champions and leaders Crusaders at the Showgrounds through a late Colin Coates own goal.
The first 20 minutes was a reasonably quiet affair, with Daniel Wallace blocking a Crusaders half chance and Allan Jenkins just failing to get on the end of a cross. The game sparked into life on 26 minutes, when Crusaders went ahead, with former United player David Cushley doing well to fire in a low cross, which came off captain Jim Ervin and past Glendinning for an own goal.
Paul Heatley celebrates after Ervin scores an own goal
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Straight from the restart United threatened, as Johnny McMurray's long range effort was tipped over by Sean O'Neill. From the resulting corner, Kyle Owens had his header cleared on the line by Richard Clarke. Just 4 minutes later, United were handed the chance to equalise when Cathair Friel was brought down in the box by Michael Gault. Tony Kane stepped up and calmly slotted the ball straight down the middle, to give him his 8th goal from the spot this season.
Gault brings down Friel in the box, leading to a United penalty
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Tony Kane celebrates after scoring his 8th penalty of the season
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Glendinning was called into action quickly after the goal but saved well to keep the scores level at the break.
Crusaders applied most of the pressure at the start of the second half, as Cushley again got the beating off the United defence, but no one was there to convert his cross. On 69 minutes, Glendinning made another good save, this time denying Cushley from long range. 2 minutes later United's best chance of the half came when Tony Kane's free kick looked set to find Friel, but Jordan Owens managed to clear the ball just over his own crossbar. Ballymena were reduced to 10 men on 76 minutes, when Glendining was judged to have handled the ball well outside his penalty area and subsequently saw red. He was replaced by substitute goalkeeper Ben McCauley, making his first league appearance after his debut in the cup win over Linfield in midweek. McCauley was called into action early, saving well at his near post from a low shot by Coates.
Ben McCauley didn't have to wait long to make his first save
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On 90 minutes, Ballymena received a free kick which was floated in by Tony Kane. The ball was met by the head of Ballymena's Owens, whose powerful header came off Coates and in to the back off the net for an own goal.
Players and officials celebrate after Coates' own goal
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Fans were rapturous in their celebration at the end of the game
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In the five additional minutes added on, Crusaders pushed for the equaliser in a grandstand finish, but they couldn't get past a solid Sky Blue defence as United held on to the final whistle to go unbeaten in 10.
Manager David Jeffrey applauds the vocal home support
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Substitute keeper Ben McCauley celebrates his second win of the week
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Tony Kane and Kyle Owens celebrate a hard fought victory
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Ballymena United travel to Mourneview Park next weekend to face Glenavon in the Danske Bank Premiership.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning ( 75), Tony Kane ( 45), Kyle Owens, Gary Thompson ( Conor McCloskey 66), Allan Jenkins, Willie Faulkner, Cathair Friel ( Ben McCauley 78), Daniel Wallace, Jim Ervin, Johnny McMurray, Caolan Loughran.

Subs not used: Johnny Flynn, Eoin Kane, Matthew Shevlin.