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Saturday 24th April v. Coleraine (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm


Uploaded Saturday, 31st Oct, 2020 at 19:28

Date: Saturday, 31st October, 2020; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 490;
Larne [0] [2]
Ballymena United [0] [0]
Venue: Inver Park; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Tim Marshall; Assistant 1: David Anderson; Assistant 2: Adam Jeffrey; 4th Official: Ben McMaster;
[1-0] McDAID, David (74 mins), [2-0] McDAID, David (75 mins)

TWO goals in two second half minutes from David McDaid condemned Ballymena United to a 2-0 defeat to rivals Larne at Inver Park on Saturday afternoon.
There were three changes to United's starting line up from last week's defeat to Linfield, with Trai Hume and Jude Winchester coming in, as well as Owen McKeown who made his first competitive start. Cathair Friel and Joe McCready also returned on the bench.
With Storm Aiden making its presence known in Larne it was tough conditions for both sides and a cagey opening few minutes. Larne were much the brighter of the two as the game settled and on 11 minutes a Mark Randall corner was met by Josh Robinson, but he was denied by a fine stop from Ross Glendinning, who pushed the ball onto the crossbar. Ten minutes later the hosts went close again from a corner. This time former Sky Blue Albert Watson got his head to the ball, but again Glendinning saved smartly.
Ballymena's first real threat going forward took until just before the half hour mark and came via Shay McCartan who produced an already trademark driving run through the middle before eventually being brought down by Faud Sule on the edge of the box. McCartan took the free kick, but fired into the wall.
In the lead up to half-time Larne continued to control the play and stepped up the pressure in the minutes before the break, but Ballymena remained resolute at the back and had Glendinning to thank again for another top save. Marty Donnelly played Hale through over the top, but one on one Glendinning came out on top, to see the sides go into half-time goalless.
The home side started well in the second half and had the ball in the back of the net when Randall's quick free kick was finished by Lee Lynch, but the flag had gone up for offside. Straight up the other end The Braidmen almost went ahead when an error from Larne 'keeper Conor Devlin allowed McCartan in but after getting past Devlin, his shot was cleared on the line. Ballymena had their own piece of last ditch defending to do minutes later when Donnelly broke through and flicked the ball goalward, but Ciaran Kelly was on hand to clear.
Both teams also traded audacious efforts inside two minutes. First Randall tried a volley out of nothing from at least thirty yards which had Glendinning beat but dipped over, before Jim Ervin had a sensational pop with a free kick from the middle of Larne's half with Devlin out of his goal, but it drifted wide.
On 74 minutes Larne broke the deadlock as David McDaid scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute. Lynch picked the ball up and played in McDaid who had stayed onside and with time and space he buried the ball into the bottom corner across Glendinning. Within a minute it was 2-0 from the same source. A ball over the top from Donnelly caught United's defenders on their heels, and with no flag up McDaid ran through and slotted home again.
Ballymena looked to rally late on and a cross from Ryan Waide almost looped in, forcing Devlin to claw the ball off his line. Kenny Kane came on with three minutes left and almost got himself a goal when Waide tried to pick him out with a neat cross to the back post, but the ball agonisingly missed Kane's head, as Ballymena were left to rue two second half minutes.
Ballymena United host North Belfast side Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Trai Hume, Jim Ervin ( 55), Kofi Balmer, Ciaran Kelly, Ross Redman, Owen McKeown, Jude Winchester ( Kenneth Kane 61), Paul McElroy, Shay McCartan, Ryan Waide.

Subs not used: Jordan Williamson, Tony Kane, Jonathan Addis, Ryan Harpur, Cathair Friel, Joseph McCready.