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

Uploaded Saturday, 19th Nov, 2016 at 19:31

Date: Saturday, 19th November, 2016; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 886;
Ballymena United [1] [1]
Dungannon Swifts [2] [4]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Lee Tavinder; Assistant 1: Adrian Sobieski; Assistant 2: Andrew Nethery; 4th Official: Garvin Taggart;
[1-0] MILLAR, Leroy (13 mins), [1-1] MITCHELL, Andrew (17 mins), [1-2] O'ROURKE, Jarlath (26 mins), [1-3] OWENS, Kyle (og 69 mins), [1-4] MITCHELL, Andrew (76 mins)

BALLYMENA United suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at the hands of Dungannon Swifts at the Ballymena Showgrounds today.
The captains and officials before the game
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The first half was a largely scrappy affair from both sides. The first 10 minutes provided little but the game was woken up on 13 minutes as United took the lead through a Leroy Millar wonder strike. Millar picked the ball up and unleashed a shot from all of 30 yards to beat Stuart Addis.
Tony Kane celebrates after Leroy Millar opened the scoring
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That was to be as good as it got for United as Dungannon equalised 3 minutes later. An error from Daniel Wallace allowed Andrew Mitchell in and he ran clear before managing to beat Ross Glendinning in the Ballymena goal. It could've got worse 3 minutes later when Glendinning made a great save to prevent Ryan Harper from scoring from a lobbed shot.
Dungannon Swifts players celebrate the equaliser
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On 26 minutes things would get worse for the Sky Blues as they fell behind to Jarlath O'Rourke's first competitive goal for the Swifts. Some slack defending saw O'Rourke run through and slot home into the bottom corner. A neat double save by Glendinning, first to stop Harpur, and then Paul McElroy, stopped the Swifts from scoring their third. At the end of the half Ballymena threatened to level as Allan Jenkins saw a shot blocked before Daniel Wallace tried his luck, but couldn't curl the ball inside Addis' post.
Caolan Loughran clears the ball
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It took until the 60th minute for a clear cut chance for either side in the second half. Ballymena conceded a foul on the edge of the box and the resulting free kick allowed Chris Hegarty a free header, but it was straight into the hands of Glendinning. From then, Ballymena started to sustain pressure on the Dungannon goal as Willie Faulkner and Kyle Owens had chances. First a nice move sent Faulkner through but the midfielder was denied by some good last ditch defending. On 68 minutes Owen's should've equalised. The defender stayed forward and was picked out inside the 6 yard box by Jenkins, but he fired over in a chance that seemed easier to score than miss.
Tony Kane challenges Ryan Harpur for the ball
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2 minutes later Ballymena were made to pay as Dungannon grabbed a third. A low cross from Mitchell went in off a hapless Owens for an own goal to give Dungannon breathing space. Just 5 minutes later the contest was killed off as Dungannon condemned Ballymena to certain defeat with a fourth goal. More poor defending allowed Mitchell to be picked out and the striker netted his second of the afternoon.
The final 15 minutes saw the game die off with both sides accepting of the scoreline. The only real chance fell to Mitchell in added time, who was extremely lucky to be on the pitch after a nasty foul on Caolan Loughran, but he was prevented a hat trick goal by Glendinning on what was a dismal day for the Sky Blues.
David Jeffrey was disappointed with the performance
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Next up for United is a trip to Solitude to face Cliftonville in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane, Kyle Owens, Darren Henderson ( Matthew Shevlin 70), Allan Jenkins ( Eoin Kane 78), Willie Faulkner, Cathair Friel, Danny Wallace ( Kyle Mackie 78), Jim Ervin, Leroy Millar ( 59), Caolan Loughran.

Subs not used: Ben McCauley, Kyle McVey.