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Saturday 17th November v. Cliftonville (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Saturday, 10th Mar, 2018 at 19:43

Date: Saturday, 10th March, 2018; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 1661;
Ballymena United [0] [0]
Coleraine [1] [2]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Evan Boyce; Assistant 1: Stephen Bell; Assistant 2: Andrew Nethery; 4th Official: Tim Marshall;
Goals:
[0-1] BRADLEY, Eoin (27 mins), [0-2] McCAULEY, Darren (58 mins)

BALLYMENA United failed to score as they were defeated at home today by derby rivals Coleraine.
Before kick off a minutes applause was warmly observed by all players, officials and fans for former Ballymena legend Arthur Stewart, who sadly passed away last Saturday.
The first 20 minutes yielded very little openings, but The Sky Blues looked the better side and were producing some nice passages of play. Chris Johns was the first 'keeper called into action on 18 minutes. After a quick counter attack, Matthew Shevlin found Conor McCloskey who cut inside and saw his goal bound shot fantastically tipped over by Johns.
Shortly after, Shevlin cut a ball back from the by-line for McKinney, but Gareth McConaghie got their first to turn the ball over the bar. The Bannsider's first real chance came with 24 minutes played. A training ground routine corner saw Eoin Bradley peel away from the crowded penalty spot, but his effort deflected just wide.
The deadlock was broken on 27 minutes, rather against the run of play. Jamie McGonigle took the ball to the by-line and his low cross was stopped by Steven McCullough, but only as far as Bradley, who rifled a close range effort past Ross Glendinning.
5 minutes later it was almost 2-0, with the tide well and truly turned. Darren McCauley embarked on a nice solo run before his effort from outside the box rattled the bar, with Kyle Owens clearing any resulting danger. With Coleraine now in control, McGonigle got the better of Leroy Millar but saw his attempt gathered easily near the end of the 45 minutes as the half ended 1-0.
During the break Andrew Burns was replaced by Patrick Weir for the start of the second half.
After an unusually quiet first half for the derby game in terms of fiery moments, the first flashpoint came 7 minutes into the half. Glendinning came out to gather the ball but was caught by a boot left in by Lyndon Kane, causing Glendinning to lift his hand to Kane and sparking minor scuffles. Both Kane and Glendinning came away with yellow cards, with the 'keeper possibly lucky to still be on the pitch.
On 57 minutes Coleraine doubled their lead. Owens made a fantastic block to deny Bradley but the ball dropped to McCauley who took a great first touch before being giving all the time in the world by the United defence to get his shot away which wrong-footed Glendinning and found the back of the net from outside the box.
Shortly after at the other end Owens almost got a goal back. He didn't know much about the chance after he met a flick on from a corner, but Johns was able to clear it off the line. Coleraine weren't happy with just the two goals and went close via Brad Lyons who curled an effort just over, before Bradley found himself somehow completely unmarked from a long free kick, but after rounding Glendinning he was put off by Owens who did well to get back and prevent Bradley scoring.
Bradley had another golden opportunity on 74 minutes. Yet again he found himself in acres of space in the box after a John's free kick, but one on one he was only able to put it wide. Fresh from his set piece goal midweek against Dungannon, Kane had a chance to make it an interesting finish from a 20 yard free kick, but it dipped just wide.
In a rather subdued final 5 minutes substitute Iain Parkhill went clear one on one but Glendinning saved well before McCauley sliced wide from the resulting corner. In added time Johns had to deal with a header from Shevlin, although it caused him little problems as Coleraine recorded the 2-0 win to make it 6 derby games unbeaten against the injury hit Sky Blues.
Ballymena United host Larne in the quarter-final of the Tennent's Irish Cup on Tuesday evening, kicking off at 7:45pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning ( 53), Tony Kane, Kyle Owens ( 80), Joe McKinney ( Willie Faulkner 90), Conor McCloskey, Andrew Burns ( Patrick Weir 46), Matthew Shevlin, Jim Ervin, Steven McCullough, Leroy Millar ( 70), Conor Quigley ( Fra McCaffrey 88).

Subs not used: Thomas McDermott, Kofi Balmer.