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

Uploaded Tuesday, 8th Nov, 2016 at 23:19

Date: Tuesday, 8th November, 2016; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 1631;
Ballymena United [1] [1]
Linfield [1] [4]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Keith Kennedy; Assistant 1: George Argyropoulos; Assistant 2: Kristian Hanna; 4th Official: Steven Taylor;
[0-1] WATERWORTH, Andrew (21 mins), [1-1] KANE, Tony (35 mins), [1-2] LOWRY, Stephen (60 mins), [1-3] HAUGHEY, Mark (66 mins), [1-4] MULGREW, Jamie (90 mins)

BALLYMENA United missed the chance to go second in the Danske Bank Premiership after a 4-1 defeat to Linfield.
It was a relatively quiet first half in terms of clear cut chances at the Showgrounds with the first opening of note coming after 8 minutes. A Paul Smyth corner was met by the head of defender Jimmy Callacher, but he couldn't keep it down. 3 minutes later, Alan Blayney was called into action, saving well from a Mark Stafford header at the far post.
The game's opener came on 21 minutes. Mark Haughey was given time to put a good ball into the box and it was headed home by Andrew Waterworth, over the top of Blayney's head.
Andrew Waterworth celebrates the opening goal
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It took until the 31st minute for United to go close. A long throw in eventually fell to a free Jim Ervin, but he flashed his first time shot wide. The Sky Blues did draw level on 35 minutes. Sean Ward conceded a foul 20 yards out and Tony Kane stepped up. His wonderfully placed effort clipped the post on its way in to get Kane into double figures for the season.
Tony Kane equalised through a superb free kick
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Kane is congratulated by his team mates
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Linfield had the better start to the second half as Blayney saved well from Smyth as the Linfield man broke free on 48 minutes. Linfield continued to push as Allan Jenkins made a good block before Smyth could've gave them the lead, but headed over. On the hour mark Linfield did move infront through Stephen Lowry. Blayney came for the ball but didnt get to it and the ball was eventually bundled over the line by Lowry, despite the best efforts to clear it by Denver Gage. Just 6 minutes later, Linfield netted a third. After initially dealing with a corner well, Ballymena couldn't stop a Smyth cross, which passed by United's defenders and was turned home by Mark Haughey.
As Ballymena continued to struggle to create chances, with the best effort another Tony Kane free kick which went well wide, the game looked over when Gage conceded a penalty on 74 minutes. Substitute Ross Gaynor stood up, but blasted his spot kick wide of Blayney's goal to keep the score at 3-1.
Ross Gaynor missed a penalty
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Straight down the other end, Ervin almost found Jenkins after some neat United build up play, but Jenkins couldn't quite turn the ball towards goal before Linfield cleared their lines. United's lacklustre performance was summed up in added time when Kyle Owens attempted a volley inside the box, but the ball went well wide. Linfield skipper Jamie Mulgrew added insult to injury with the last kick of the game as a good run resulted in the midfielder firing past Blayney, off the post, for Linfield's fourth, in what was an uncharacteristic performance from the Sky Blues.
David Jeffrey's face summed up tonight's performance
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Ballymena United host Carrick Rangers in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Alan Blayney, Tony Kane, Kyle Owens, Johnny Flynn ( 19), Denver Gage ( Leroy Millar 77), Allan Jenkins ( 73), Willie Faulkner, Cathair Friel, Eoin Kane, Jim Ervin, Johnny McMurray.

Subs not used: Ben McCauley, Darren Henderson, Kyle Mackie, Caolan Loughran.