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Saturday 7th July v. HW Welders (away) - Friendly - k.o: TBC

Uploaded Saturday, 17th Dec, 2016 at 20:28

Date: Saturday, 17th December, 2016; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 2169;
Linfield [0] [2]
Ballymena United [0] [1]
Venue: National Stadium; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Lee Tavinder; Assistant 1: Adrian Sobieski; Assistant 2: Jarlath McElholm; 4th Official: Chris Morrison;
[1-0] CALLACHER, Jimmy (51 mins), [1-1] KANE, Tony (pen 88 mins), [2-1] STAFFORD, Mark (90 mins)

BALLYMENA United were on the wrong end of more late drama as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Linfield.
David Jeffrey was given a warm reception as he returned to Linfield for the first time since leaving the Blues in 2014.
The first half brought very little in terms of chances for either side. Inside the first 10 minutes William Faulkner played in Cathair Friel, but Linfield goalkeeper Roy Carroll was able to beat the striker to the ball.
Cathair Friel came close to opening the scoring on 10 minutes
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Linfield went close not long after when Ross Gaynor worked the ball into Andy Waterworth, who was unmarked just five yards out, but he couldn't keep his shot under the crossbar. The rest of the half was even throughout, with both sides just not doing quite enough to create good goal scoring chances. Johnny McMurray did well to fashion a chance for a shot, but was far from the target with his effort. Just before the break Mark Haughey found Niall Quinn, but he couldn't get enough on the ball and his attempt went well wide. With one minute left, Waterworth did have the ball in the back of the net, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.
The second half was a much more prosperous affair on the part of both sides. Linfield skipper Jamie Mulgrew had the half's first effort, but his long range shot wasn't close to troubling Alan Blayney. However on 51 minutes, Blayney was beaten. A Gaynor free kick from the right found the head of Jimmy Callacher who guided the ball into the back of the net to break the deadlock.
Jimmy Callacher celebrates after scoring the opener
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Not long after, Callacher's defensive partner Mark Stafford headed a corner just wide. It was then the turn of the Sky Blues to create chances to find an equaliser. A corner from Anthony Kane was well met by Kyle Owens, but Carroll was on hand to make a good save, tipping the ball over the bar. The resulting corner was initially cleared, before Jim Ervin did well to regain possession. The ball eventually made its way to Friel who unleashed a shot from outside the box, but it went inches past Carroll's goal. On 70 minutes, Stephen Lowry could've put Linfield two clear when he went through on goal, but Blayney did exceptionally well to come out and smother the chance. Blayney also had to deal with the corner. After an original effort had been blocked the ball came to substitute Aaron Burns, but his volley was well saved by Blayney.
It took until the 85th minute for a second goal of the afternoon and it came courtesy of Kane from the penalty spot. Leroy Millar's effort was adjudged to have struck the hand Niall Quinn inside the area. Kane stepped up and comfortably recorded his second penalty success of the week.
Leroy Millar's shot struck the hand of Niall Quinn, leading to a United penalty
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Tony Kane safely tucked away his 11th penalty from 11 this season
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But there was to be heartbreak for United with the last kick of the game as Linfield regained the lead. Burns swung a ball in from the left wing and it was met by defender Stafford, who's diving header nestled in the bottom corner to give Linfield all three points, in what was a disappointing end to a good week for Jeffrey's men.
Linfield keeper Roy Carroll celebrates the injury time goal by Mark Stafford
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It was a disappointing end to the week for manager David Jeffrey
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It's the big Boxing Day derby game up next for Ballymena United when they host Coleraine next weekend at 3:00pm. For ticket details please follow this link.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Alan Blayney, Adam McCracken ( 21), Kyle Owens ( 77), Jim Ervin, Tony Kane, Willie Faulkner ( 32), Allan Jenkins, Leroy Millar ( 88), Fra McCaffrey ( Gavin Taggart 75), Johnny McMurray ( Darren Henderson 79), Cathair Friel.

Subs not used: Ben McAuley, Eoin Kane, Caolan Loughran.