Home News Fixtures Tables Squad Commercial Info History Shop Under 20s
Saturday 7th December v. Crusaders (away) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Saturday, 24th Aug, 2019 at 20:06

Date: Saturday, 24th August, 2019; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 1727;
Ballymena United [0] [1]
Glentoran [0] [2]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Andrew Davey; Assistant 1: Stephen Donaldson; Assistant 2: Mark O'Brien; 4th Official: Tony Clarke;
Goals:
[1-0] McGRORY, Andrew (49 mins), [1-1] McDAID, Robbie (84 mins), [1-2] McDAID, Robbie (90 mins)

TWO late goals saw Ballymena United suffer their first defeat of the season after a 2-1 defeat to Glentoran in an ill-tempered affair at the Showgrounds.
After picking up four points from six in their opening two away games, United returned home for the first time this season and made one change from last week's win at Larne as Kofi Balmer replaced Andrew Burns.
It was the visitors who made the brighter start as the hosts failed to get out of first gear for much of the opening exchanges. Curtis Allen went close early on when he hooked a cross from Marcus Kane just wide, before Croatian Hrvoje Plum struck the post with a thumping, curling effort from the edge of the box. It took until the 18th minute Shortly after Glentoran had to rely on Kane at one end, Jonny Addis was there at the other end to save Ballymena in the nick of time to stop Allen from surely scoring from close range. With The Braidmen still not at it, Glentoran continued to threathen as Plum went close again before he crossed for Robbie McDaid, who glanced an effort into the side netting. On 27 minutes The Sky Blues produced probably their best move of the half as Addis set Carville off down the left wing. Carville did well to keep hold of the ball and find Winchester who tried to curl an effort into the bottom corner, but with no turn on the ball it drifted well wide.for Ballymena to cause any concern in the Glens' penalty area. Andy McGrory made a dangerous run before his ball almost fell to Declan Carville, only for Kane to get there first and half clear, with Jude Winchester putting the follow up over the crossbar.
Shortly after Glentoran had to rely on Kane at one end, Jonny Addis was there at the other end to save Ballymena in the nick of time to stop Allen from surely scoring from close range. With The Braidmen still not at it, Glentoran continued to threathen as Plum went close again before he crossed for Robbie McDaid, who glanced an effort into the side netting. On 27 minutes The Sky Blues produced probably their best move of the half as Addis set Carville off down the left wing. Carville did well to keep hold of the ball and find Winchester who tried to curl an effort into the bottom corner, but with no turn on the ball it drifted well wide.
Two minutes after Winchester's shot Ross Glendinning was called into his first piece of action as he was forced into a good save to deny Paul O'Neill from distance. Glentoran's Plum was looking like the biggest threat for either side and after striking the post earlier in the half, he did so again ten minutes from the break with a free kick from just outside the box. With a minute to go till the break Leroy Millar stung the palms of Marijan Antolovic, but most of the ground missed the chance as events on the touchline gained more of the focus. A disagreement saw most of the management and backroom staff for both sides involved in handbags, and things spilled over again in the tunnel at half-time, with Glens boss Mick McDermott sent to the stands as a result. On the pitch, the half ended goalless.
Ballymena started the second half strongly as they finally began to look like themselves. McGrory let a glorious chance pass him by when he was picked out by Addis, but with no one near him McGrory's header came back off the underside of the bar. That McGrory miss was soon forgotten about two minutes later when McGrory himself broke the deadlock. After United won a free kick, McGrory took charge and curled a pearler over the wall and into the top corner, well out of Antolovic's reach.
Ballymena kicked on from the opener and went close again when Cathair Friel was fouled, but with Andrew Davey waving on an advantage, Millar forced a save out of Antolovic. In the space of two second half minutes, Addis was involved in action in both boxes. Up first, the former Glens man made an outstanding last ditch challenge on O'Neill after he'd been played through by Allen. Down the other end, a smart corner routine landed at Addis' feet, but he could only blaze the ball over.
Chances were starting to arrive a little more frequently for both sides in the middle of the half. Glendinning saved well to deny Allen from a tight angle, before Carville headed wide for The Sky Blues after Antolovic got caught in no mans land from a free kick. Towards the final ten minutes Friel went close with a couple of chances that could've wrapped the game up. A quick counter attack, started by Jim Ervin, ended with Friel forcing Antolovic into a fine save, and four minutes later Friel dragged an effort wide after good link up play with Carville.
Despite those chances the final ten minutes were almost all Glentoran. Substitute Elvio Van Overbeek hit the frame of Glendinning's goal with a half volley, before Glentoran levelled on 84 minutes. A long ball forward from Gavin Peers was flicked on into the path of McDaid and under pressure from Ervin he finished well.
Both sides had chances to win it late on. McDaid almost scored a fine winner with a delightful backheel that went just wide, before a counter attack by the hosts ended with sub Shane McGinty firing over.
However there was to be a stoppage time winner as McDaid's second stole the points for Glentoran. John Herron drove forward and found Van Overbeek, and his cross fell to McDaid who fired home.
The goal sparked celebrations from the Glentoran bench, which caused another flashpoint to marr the end of the game. After numerous confrontations, a member of the Glentoran backroom staff joined McDermott in seeing red, as Glentoran held on for their first win of the season.
Ballymena United are back at the Showgrounds on Tuesday night when they host Newington YC in the second round of the BetMcClean League Cup, kicking off at 7:45pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Jonathan Addis, Ryan Harpur ( 60 Shane McGinty 87), Cathair Friel, Steven McCullough, Declan Carville ( Ryan Mayse 87), Andrew McGrory, Kofi Balmer, Jude Winchester, Jim Ervin, Leroy Millar.

Subs not used: Jordan Williamson, Tony Kane ( 90), Andrew Burns, Joshua Kelly, Ross Lavery.