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Saturday 24th February v. Crusaders (away) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Saturday, 20th Jan, 2018 at 18:42

Date: Saturday, 20th January, 2018; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 507;
Ards [1] [1]
Ballymena United [0] [0]
Venue: Bangor Fuels Arena; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Arnold Hunter; Assistant 1: Jarlath McElholm; Assistant 2: Ken Ross; 4th Official: Peter McGrath;
Goals:
[1-0] GLENDINNING, Reece (25 mins)

REECE Glendinning scored the only goal of the game against brother Ross as United fell to 1-0 defeat at Ards.
The game at a cold Bangor Fuels Arena never looked like being a classic right from the start as things took a while to get going. Early on Matthew Shevlin could only direct a header wide from a Tony Kane free kick.
The host's first chance came on 12 minutes, with ex-Sky Blue Michael Ruddy heading a cross well wide. United had strong appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Arnold Hunter when Fra McCaffrey went down in the box after a coming together with Ruddy.
The deadlock was broken on 25 minutes with what turned out to be the winner. Reece Glendinning had time from well outside the box and decided to shoot, with his effort being spilled by brother Ross Glendinning into the Ballymena goal as Ards took the lead.
Ballymena almost levelled straight away when Sam Johnston was called into action for the first time. The ball made its way to McCaffrey inside the box but his turn and shot was saved by Johnston who made himself big. For the final 15 minutes of the half neither goal was often troubled. On 36 minutes Johnston dropped a cross and it landed to Shevlin who shot just wide, but it wouldn't have counted anyway as a free kick was given despite it being an Ards player who fouled the Ards 'keeper. In the final chance of the half the home side made two vital blocks to deny United. First up Stephen McAlorum's drilled effort from outside the box was blocked into the path of Kyle Owens, with his shot goal-bound until being blocked by David Elebert as Ards took a lead into half time.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were minutes to forget as neither team managed a meaningful chance. Early on Ballymena were denied another penalty shout when Shevlin looked to be fouled by Callum Byers. It was to Shevlin that the first real chance of the half fell. After good, patient build up play by The Sky Blues a chance eventually came to Shevlin, his header being cleared by Byers. On 66 minutes David Jeffrey made a double change, bringing on Willie Faulkner and McMurray for McCaffrey and Conor McCloskey.
Ballymena's best chance of the game so far fell a minute after the changes, and it fell to sub Faulkner. He was found nicely by McAlorum and after cutting inside his effort hit the side netting, with Johnston helplessly watching on. Faulkner's attempt was the start of a flurry of chances for both sides. On 69 minutes a header from Owens that was meant for Glendinning was intercepted by Michael McLellan, but he was only able to poke his effort over the crossbar.
Ards brought on Keké and the forward had a chance after being on the pitch less than a minute. He burst through one on one with Glendinning, but scuffed his attempt well wide of goal. The next set of chanches fell for The Braidmen. Sub McMurray had an effort deflected wide and from Kane's corner Owens got up well but powerfully headed just over. A minute later Shevlin was fouled on the edge of the box and Steven McCullough took the free kick, however it went straight at Johnston. As United starting to pile on the pressure Keké should've wrapped things up at the other end. Glendinning misjudged the flight of the ball and Keké got in, but the forward somehow could only hit the post as the chance went begging.
Ards brought on Keké and the forward had a chance after being on the pitch less than a minute. He burst through one on one with Glendinning, but scuffed his attempt well wide of goal. The next set of chanches fell for The Braidmen. Sub McMurray had an effort deflected wide and from Kane's corner Owens got up well but powerfully headed just over. A minute later Shevlin was fouled on the edge of the box and Steven McCullough took the free kick, however it went straight at Johnston. As United starting to pile on the pressure Keké should've wrapped things up at the other end. Glendinning misjudged the flight of the ball and Keké got in, but the forward somehow could only hit the post as the chance went begging.
The resulting corner eventually fell to McAlorum but his half volley was deflected over. United made a late change as Joe McKinney replaced an injured Kane. Inside added time The Sky Blues couldn't have came closer to equalising through Shevlin. Owens knocked down a long ball from Jim Ervin into Shevlin's path, the striker turning well before unleashing a shot that rattled off the post before being cleared, as United couldn't find a goal in a disappointing day in Bangor.
Ballymena United face Crusaders in the Toals Bookmakers Co Antrim Shield final on Tuesday night at the Showgrounds, kicking off at 7:45pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane ( Joe McKinney 89), Kyle Owens, Stephen McAlorum, Kevin Braniff, Conor McCloskey ( Johnny McMurray 66), Matthew Shevlin, Kofi Balmer, Jim Ervin, Steven McCullough, Fra McCaffrey ( Willie Faulkner 66).

Subs not used: Emmet Friars, Cathair Friel.