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Uploaded Saturday, 21st Apr, 2018 at 20:17

Date: Saturday, 21st April, 2018; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 853;
Glenavon [0] [0]
Ballymena United [0] [0]
Venue: Mourneview Park; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Arnold Hunter; Assistant 1: Paul Robinson; Assistant 2: Jarlath McElholm; 4th Official: Lee Tavinder;
Goals:

BALLYMENA United picked up their first point since the split with a 0-0 draw away to Glenavon today.
United made three changes from last weeks derby defeat to Coleraine, including a change in goal as Thomas McDermott replaced Ross Glendinning.
There was little to split the sides in the first half and after a slow start the first effort came Glenavon's way. The United defence backed off Bobby Burns and let the full back get a shot away from distance, but it went well wide.
Ballymena first threatened Glenavon's goal on 10 minutes. Johnny Flynn knocked down a Leroy Millar free kick and Kyle Owens headed it towards goal with Johnny Tuffey getting to the ball before Matthew Shevlin. Shortly after at the other end Simon Kelly rose highest to meet a Burns corner but his low header went just wide. The Sky Blues went close to opening the scoring on 16 minutes following a great team move. Good play from Kevin Braniff and a neat one-two between Fra McCaffrey and Shevlin ended with the latter finding Millar who from a tight angle drove the ball inches wide.
More good play from Braniff and Shevlin teed up Jim Ervin who almost cleared the stand with a shot, but it was another example of quick, forward-thinking play from United. The Lurgan Blues saw two chances in quick succession well defended by Ballymena's back line. Stephen Murray teed up Mark Sykes whose shot was blocked by Flynn. Seconds later a long shot from Burns deflected off Owens and looped just over.
With not long left before half time Owens lined up a free kick from 25 yards. His powerful and moving effort was well struck and forced Tuffey into tipping the ball wide. From the resulting corner the ball fell to Owens again at close range, but he saw his shot deflected over. In added time at the end of the first half Andy McGrory saw a stinging shot, that was heading for the corner, blocked on the line by Ervin as the half end goalless.
The second half was more of a back to the walls effort for Ballymena but they defended virtually flawlessly. At the start of the half the hosts had a strong penalty appeal waved away after calls that the ball had struck the arm of Flynn inside the box.
The second half was more of a back to the walls effort for Ballymena but they defended virtually flawlessly. At the start of the half the hosts had a strong penalty appeal waved away after calls that the ball had struck the arm of Flynn inside the box.
In the final half hour Glenavon had plenty of the ball but rarely caused McDermott any problems. Sykes had freedom to run into the box with acres of space and he found Joel Cooper who cut inside but as he was about to pull the trigger Flynn made a tremendous last ditch slide tackle to thwart him. With 20 minutes left Rhys Marshall went close from a corner, glancing a header narrowly wide.
A United double change after Marshall's chance saw McCaffrey and Braniff replaced by Conor McCloskey and Willie Faulkner. On the 80 minute mark Glenavon came as close to scoring as anyone had all day when a corner ended in a goalmouth scramble before eventually McAlorum cleared the ball on the line as United somehow kept Glenavon out. Glenavon continued to probe as Andy Mitchell had two openings, first blasting a shot over on the turn after being well found by Sykes, before he then headed over an Andy Hall cross.
In the closing stages Ballymena had a couple of attacks themselves which didn't come to much, McCloskey coming closest with an audacious bicycle kick which went well wide. Inside three minutes of added time sub Hall headed over a delivery from Cooper as the game ended 0-0.
Ballymena United host title-chasing Crusaders at the Showgrounds next Saturday in their last match of the regular league season, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Thomas McDermott, Kyle Owens, Johnny Flynn, Stephen McAlorum ( Joe McKinney 82), Kevin Braniff ( Conor McCloskey 70), Matthew Shevlin, Kofi Balmer, Jim Ervin, Leroy Millar, Fra McCaffrey ( Willie Faulkner 70), Conor Quigley.

Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Fra Nolan.