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Tuesday 23rd April v. Glenavon (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 7:45pm

Uploaded Saturday, 19th Aug, 2017 at 20:29

Date: Saturday, 19th August, 2017; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 1132;
Ballymena United [0] [1]
Glenavon [0] [6]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Arnold Hunter; Assistant 1: Richard Storey; Assistant 2: David Anderson; 4th Official: Tony Clarke;
[0-1] FOLEY, Adam (48 mins), [0-2] SINGLETON, James (66 mins), [0-3] CLINGAN, Sammy (pen 70 mins), [0-4] HALL, Andy (72 mins), [1-4] KANE, Tony (pen 80 mins), [1-5] BURNS, Bobby (81 mins), [1-6] MITCHELL, Andy (90 mins)

BALLYMENA United suffered a 6-1 defeat at home to Glenavon in the Danske Bank Premiership today.
Officials and Captains before the game
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It was a slow but even start at The Showgrounds with Ballymena creating an early chance. Despite appeals for a United free kick, Cathair Friel played on and clipped a dangerous ball to the back post, but no one was there to turn it in. Straight down the other end Mark Sykes played in Andy Hall who took the ball to the byline before shooting, but Ross Glendinning was on hand to put it out for a corner.

13 minutes in Michael Gault was booked for a challenge, despite seemingly getting the ball, however Sammy Clingan's free kick cleared the bar by some distance. A couple of minutes later James Singleton used the United defence for leverage to meet a Hall corner, only to head over. The best chance of the half for the home side came 20 minutes in. A cross from Friel was flicked on by Tony Kane to Matthew Shevlin, who found himself unmarked and within 12 yards. With the Glenavon players appealing for a handball, Shevlin's shot was well stopped by Jonathan Tuffey.
Ballymena had another chance 6 minutes later when Rhys Marshall was booked for bringing down Joe McKinney, but from just outside the box, Kane shot over. Shortly after Glendinning was forced to make another good save to deny the visitors. Captain Jim Ervin, on his 100th league appearance for the Sky Blues, was beaten on the wing by Sykes, who then found Bobby Burns, but Glendinning saved well.

There wasn't much by way of clear cut chances for either side until one minute before the interval when Sykes created another chance for Glenavon, this time scooping the ball into Hall, but his rather hopeful shot was easily gathered by Glendinning. There was still time for one last chance before half time when, with the last kick of the half, United went close. A neat one two between Friel and Kevin Braniff saw the latter play in Shevlin, who beat the offside trap, but couldn't beat Tuffey who saved with his legs to keep it level at the break.
The second half was nearly all Glenavon as their ruthless play saw then net no less than 6 times. The opener came just 3 minutes into the half when Braniff gave the ball away to Sykes who played in Adam Foley. Foley set himself with a touch before slotting past Glendinning to make it 1-0.
Adam Foley receives congratulations on scoring the opening goal
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It could've been 2 shortly after if it wasn't for another Glendinning save. Johnny Flynn received a yellow card and from the resulting free kick Singleton rifled a shot at the United 'keeper from outside the box, but Glendinning matched it with a save. A minute later Glendinning again was forced to act, this time getting down low to stop a Burns' shot. Singleton tried to get to the rebound but caught more of Glendinning than the ball, resulting in a yellow for the Glenavon player.
Just before the hour mark Glenavon had the ball in the back of the net again when Singleton netted the rebound after Glendining denied Andrew Mitchell, but it was ruled out for offside. On 62 minutes Friel got a rare chance to take on the Glenavon defence. The forward originally got the better of Marshall, only for Marshall to then block Friel's shot which followed. With 66 minutes gone the visitors doubled their advantage courtesy of Singleton. A corner from Hall went right through a sea of players in the box and made its way to Singleton, who slammed home the ball.
James Singleton put Glenavon two ahead on 66 minutes
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3 minutes later Glenavon had the chance to make it 3 when Burns poked the ball past Glendinning, before the goalkeeper brought down Burns for a penalty. Ex- Northern Ireland international Clingan stepped up and sent Glendinning the wrong way for 3-0.
Ross Glendinning can only watch as Sammy Clingan's penalty heads towards the goal
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18 minutes from time the visitors found a fourth. From all of 25 yards, Hall had a go from a free kick, and the ball flew past Glendinning and into the back of the net.
Andy Hall celebrates his goal with Paul Millar
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With 79 minutes on the clock Ballymena were awarded a penalty of their own when Friel was fouled near the by-line by goal scorer Singleton. Kane stepped up and his perfect penalty beat Tuffey and nestled in the bottom corner, cutting the deficit to 4-1.
Tony Kane pulled a goal back from the penalty spot
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However within 2 minutes Glenavon restored their four goal advantage. If Glendinning hadn't much chance stopping Hall's free kick, he was never getting Burns' shot as his attempt from 20 yards rocketed into the top left corner.
Bobby Burns hit the back to restore the four goal advantage
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Bobby Burns celebrates his goal
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Ballymena looked for a second late on and Friel could've opened his account for the season when a long Connor McCloskey throw-in was flicked on by Kyle Owens to Friel, but a poor first touch took the ball away from him. In added time there was more misery to come when Glenavon made it 6. A corner from sub Andy McGrory headed towards Glendinning who couldn't get to it and Mitchell was there to tap the ball home on the goal line at the near post to end a day to forget for the Sky Blues.
Andy Mitchell bundled the ball home for the sixth
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David Jeffrey did not look at all pleased at the end
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Ballymena United travel to the National Stadium to take on league champions Linfield next Saturday, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane ( 71), Kyle Owens, Johnny Flynn ( 50), Michael Gault ( 13 Gary Thompson 63), Cathair Friel, Kevin Braniff, Conor McCloskey, Matthew Shevlin ( Fra McCaffrey 73), Jim Ervin, Joe McKinney.

Subs not used: Conor Brennan, Emmet Friars, Steven McCullough.