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Saturday 16th December v. Carrick Rangers (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Saturday, 11th Mar, 2017 at 19:21

Date: Saturday, 11th March, 2017; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 1045;
Ballymena United [0] [3]
Portadown [0] [0]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Steven Gregg; Assistant 1: Ken Ross; Assistant 2: Paul Berry; 4th Official: Raymond Crangle;
Goals:
[1-0] KERR, Michael (50 mins), [2-0] FLYNN, Johnny (59 mins), [3-0] KANE, Tony (pen 77 mins)

BALLYMENA United recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Portadown today at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
The home side dominated the first half possession and always looked the most likely to go ahead. United had the first chance in the 5th minute when Johnny McMurray set up Kevin Braniff, but his low curling shot skidded just past the post. Portadown had their first chance courtesy of a free kick by Niall Henderson from all of 25 yards, but he too sent his effort narrowly wide.
A lively McMurray worked his first chance half way through the first half, fantastically turning his marker, however he could only blast his attempt high over the Ports goal. Minutes later Willie Faulkner embarked on a promising run into the box but slightly lost his footing as he pulled the trigger, before firing over. As the away side tried to create chances towards the end of the half, they should've taken an surprise lead through Robert Garrett. Forward Stephen Hughes did well to play in Garrett who went one on one with Tim Allen, but the Australian 'keeper somehow made the stop on his second Sky Blues debut.
With the last play of the half Tony Kane had a great chance to give United the lead at the break, but unmarked, he couldn't keep his attempt on target from the edge of the box.
Ballymena kicked off an impressive second half in style when they took a deserved lead five minutes in. Neat build up play saw Faulkner find McMurray who took the ball to the by-line, before playing it into the six yard box were the unlikely source of debutant Michael Kerr was on hand to mark his first game with a goal.
The lead was doubled shortly after by another of the back four, as Johnny Flynn got on the end of a Kane corner to easily head home and give the Sky Blues breathing space. In a rare venture forward in the second half, Portadown almost pulled a goal back. Jim Ervin was unaware of Shea McGerrigan when attempting a back pass and the Ports man intercepted the ball, but Allen was on hand to save well for a corner.
From that corner Portadowns day got worse when defender Ken Oman received a straight red for kicking out at Flynn in the Ballymena box. It was then Flynn who went close to his second of the game at the other end. A Kerr cross was spilled by Ports stopper Jack Duffin and fell nicely to Flynn, but Duffin made up for his error with a good save.
With 14 minutes left on the clock Duffin presented Ballymena with a chance for a third when he brought down Joe McKinney in the box. Tony Kane stepped up and dispatched his 13th penalty of the season to compound the bottom side's misery.
Late on it was almost a fourth when Brendan Shannon turned a corner onto his own post, but the scoreline stayed at 3-0 as United put last weeks disappointment fully behind them.
Ballymena United host Glentoran in the Danske Bank Premiership next Saturday, kicking off at 3pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Tim Allen, Tony Kane ( Allan Jenkins 77), Johnny Flynn, Gary Thompson, Willie Faulkner ( Conor McCloskey 85), Jim Ervin, Leroy Millar, Kevin Braniff, Joe McKinney, Johnny McMurray ( Cathair Friel 88), Michael Kerr.

Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Caolan Loughran.