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Saturday 25th November v. Cliftonville (away) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Monday, 6th Nov, 2017 at 23:30

Date: Monday, 6th November, 2017; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 1109;
Glentoran [0] [1]
Ballymena United [1] [1]
Venue: The Oval; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Raymond Hetherington; Assistant 1: Adrian Sobieski; Assistant 2: Andrew Nethery; 4th Official: Steven Gregg;
Goals:
[0-1] FRIEL, Cathair (pen 15 mins), [1-1] KNOWLES, James (55 mins)

BALLYMENA United and Glentoran played out a 1-1 draw at The Oval in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
A minute's silence was held prior to kick off in a very blustery Belfast to mark Remembrance day.
Inside 3 minutes Ballymena almost had a chance to go ahead but Conor McCloskey was given offside in a tight call as he broke through. One minute later Marcus Kane had a good chance for the Glens from a James Knowles free kick, but his header was easily gathered by Ross Glendinning. Glentoran's danger man up front Curtis Allen went close after skilfully getting the better of first young Kofi Balmer and then Gary Thompson before having his shot deflected wide.
With 15 minutes on the clock Ballymena were handed the chance to break the deadlock from the penalty spot after Gary Thompson was brought down in the box by an outstretched Kane leg. Cathair Friel took responsibility from the spot and sent Elliott Morris the wrong way for his 7th league goal of the season
After the goal Ballymena looked the brighter of the sides despite having little help from the strong wind, but United couldn't quite create any clear cut chances. It was the home side however who went closest after the United penalty. Tiarnan McNicholl slid a dangerous ball into the path of Allen but his shot was deflected wide. From the resulting corner Robbie McDaid had a free header but could only head wide.
Shortly after down the other end Johnny McMurray went close when he was played in by Willie Faulkner but under pressure from Ross Redman, McMurray's weak shot was saved by the legs of Morris. Inside the final 5 minutes of the half Ballymena had two good chances to double the lead. Steven McCullough started a quick Sky Blue counter attack and fed Friel, but Friel couldn't keep the ball under his control inside the box as the chance went.
In the final minute of the half Ballymena had another counter attack, this time via McMurray, who played in McCloskey one on one, but a poor first touch allowed Morris to come and smother the chance as United went into the break one ahead.
Glentoran looked more dangerous for the majority of the second half and Knowles had a good chance at the start of the half. Conall Delaney had time to chest the ball down in the box and he set up Knowles, who could only drag his shot wide. On 53 minutes McMurray was picked out in the box by McCloskey, but after getting in front of his marker the striker could only flick the ball wide.
10 minutes into the second half Glentoran levelled. Half time substitute Dylan Davidson out-muscled Jim Ervin on the left wing. His low cross was only partially dealt with by McCullough, whose clearance fell straight to Knowles who easily drilled the ball home for 1-1.
Within 4 minutes Morris pulled off a great save to stop United regaining the lead. Friel and McMurray linked up well with the latter picking out Friel from distance, but his low hard shot was well saved by Morris, before Kane got to the rebound ahead of Leroy Millar to clear. The final 20 minutes was an open affair with both sides looking to find a winner. A dangerous run from Kane saw him get the better of four Ballymena defenders but Johnny Flynn was on hand to make a potentially goal saving block.
Not long after Kane's chance the defender went close again from a Knowles free kick, but his volley was always rising. Allen missed a great chance to put the home side ahead when he broke through the United defence, but with just Glendinning to beat, Allen fired over. Ballymena did put the ball in the back of the net on 74 minutes, but Friel received McMurray's flick on in an offside position before finishing past Morris. McMurray himself had a chance a minute later but Morris pulled off another save before Ervin blasted over from the edge of the box.
On 82 minutes United had a good chance when McMurray was fouled on the edge of the box, but from the free kick Millar sent the ball over the Glens' bar. With 1 minute left Glentoran had a strong penalty appeal turned down when Glendinning may have brought down Allen in the box, with referee Raymond Hetherington instead booking Allen for simulation.
Late on sub Andrew Burns had time to line up a shot from distance but couldn't keep the ball down as the game ended level to maintain the 7 point gap between the two sides.
Ballymena United face Linfield at the Showgrounds on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm.

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Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Johnny Flynn, Gary Thompson, Cathair Friel, Conor McCloskey ( Andrew Burns 78), Willie Faulkner ( Joe McKinney 78), Kofi Balmer, Jim Ervin, Steven McCullough ( 23), Leroy Millar, Johnny McMurray.

Subs not used: Tony Kane, Matthew Shevlin, Fra McCaffrey.