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Saturday 22nd December v. Ards (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Tuesday, 20th Nov, 2018 at 23:28

Date: Tuesday, 20th November, 2018; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 1205;
Ballymena United [1] [2]
Glentoran [0] [1]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Lee Tavinder; Assistant 1: Stephen Bell; Assistant 2: Paul Robinson; 4th Official: Steven Gregg;
Goals:
[1-0] McGRORY, Andrew (25 mins), [1-1] ALLEN, Curtis (53 mins), [2-1] KANE, Tony (pen 74 mins)

A TONY Kane penalty helped Ballymena United secure a 2-1 win over Glentoran to move into second spot in the Danske Bank Premiership.
United welcomed The Glens to The Showgrounds for the second meeting between the sides in 10 days as Ballymena looked to take their unbeaten run to 12 games.
Neither side really got going from the off as the first 20 minutes were a bit of a scrappy affair. After a couple of shots from both sides that didn't threaten the goal, it took until the 12th minute for either 'keeper to have any real cause for concern. From a quick United free kick, Leroy Millar crossed for Johnny McMurray, but from inside the 6 yard box he couldn't sort his feet out.
McMurray was involved in most of Ballymena's early chances as he dragged a shot well wide before having another effort from the edge of the box deflect narrowly wide. The first save made by Elliott Morris came from the resulting corner. Millar's set piece fell to Scot Whiteside at the back post, but he was denied by Morris who made himself big at the back post.
On 25 minutes The Braidmen broke the deadlock. After a quick throw-in, Steven McCullough delivered an inch-perfect cross into the box and it was put home at the back post by the arriving Andy McGrory, for his 4th goal of the season.
Ballymena looked a little more dangerous going forward than the visitors, but outside of a few chances for the hosts the goal was all their was to split the sides. The closest Glentoran came to scoring came from an error by United's stopper Thomas McDermott. The 'keeper failed to deal with an awkward ball, spilling it right into the path of Curtis Allen, who didn't have much time to react and the ball hit him and then the side netting.
On 32 minutes Morris was called into action again. Adam Lecky knocked the ball down for McMurray but from 8 yards out his shot was straight at Morris. Towards the end of the half Glentoran had a couple more long range efforts that failed to trouble McDermott, whilst at the other end Jude Winchester ended a lovely team move by firing over before McMurray also blasted high after some good solo play as United took a slender lead to the break.
The second half got off to an arguably slower start than the first as Ballymena struggled to find their feet. 9 minutes in The Glens found an equaliser through their talisman Allen. Ross Redman had time to ready a cross from the left, and Allen showed great movement to come from behind his marker to head home.
5 minutes after the goal Allen almost put Glentoran ahead. Nathan Kerr's cross from the right found Allen but he could only turn the ball wide from close range. 20 minutes of the half passed with both teams showing no real signs of grabbing hold of the game, with United replacing McMurray with Cathair Friel to try and inject something into the game.
It seemed that if a 3rd goal was going to arrive, a set piece was its most likely route, but Kane could only send a free kick from the edge of the box over the bar. With 73 minutes played, Ballymena were awarded a penalty as Friel was brought down inside the box by William Garrett. Kane stepped up to take the spot kick and made no mistake, sending Morris the wrong way as The Sky Blues regained the lead.
The final 15 minutes were uncomfortable for Ballymena as Glentoran went in search of a second equaliser. Substitute Peter McMahon was given space and time to turn in the box but put the ball just wide of the near post. Despite a bit of Glens pressure in the closing stages, McDermott wasn't overly troubled, with the best chance following to Allen after Kerr picked him out, but it was an easy save for McDermott as United saw out the game.
Ballymena United are on the road on Friday evening, when they travel to face Newry City, kicking off at 7:45pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Thomas McDermott, Tony Kane ( 74), Scot Whiteside, Steven McCullough, Andrew Burns, Andrew McGrory, Jude Winchester ( James Knowles 75), Jim Ervin, Adam Lecky ( Matthew Shevlin 79), Leroy Millar ( 41), Johnny McMurray ( Cathair Friel 67).

Subs not used: Ben McCauley, Fra Nolan, Kofi Balmer, Reece Glendinning.