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

Linfield MATCH REPORT

Uploaded Saturday, 12th Dec, 2020 at 18:29

Date: Saturday, 12th December, 2020; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: N/A;
Dungannon Swifts [1] [1]
Ballymena United [0] [5]
Venue: Stangmore Park; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Tim Marshall; Assistant 1: Adam Jeffrey; Assistant 2: Stephen Bell; 4th Official: Niall Gallagher;
Goals:
[1-0] CARVILL, Michael (pen 21 mins), [1-1] WINCHESTER, Jude (54 mins), [1-2] HUME, Trai (57 mins), [1-3] McELROY, Paul (pen 60 mins), [1-4] McCARTAN, Seamus (72 mins), [1-5] McCARTAN, Seamus (85 mins)

BALLYMENA United produced a sensational second half display to hammer Dungannon Swifts 5-1 at Stangmore Park this afternoon.
There was one change to the side that picked up a point at Portadown a week ago, with Jude Winchester coming in for Joe McCready.
United started brightly and Trai Hume fired over within 2 minutes, but that was almost as exciting as it got for the visitors in an underwhelming first half showing. The Swifts' first chance fell the way of skipper Kris Lowe, as he flashed an effort wide. Ballymena's best chance of the half came on 20 minutes from a corner as Ciaran Kelly headed wide after getting up well, but that was to be the last real chance Ballymena had.
Within a minute at the other end the hosts had a chance to go ahead from the spot when Ciaran Kelly bundled Rhyss Campbell over in the box. Michael Carvill took the penalty and dispatched it down the middle to move the home side in front.
Dungannon were by no means dominating proceedings despite the goal and the half struggled to gain any momentum or moments of quality. Towards the end of the first period United had a penalty appeal turned away when Hume's cross appeared to strike the hand of Adam Glenny, before Lowe headed a great chance just wide from a free kick, as a poor half saw Ballymena go into the break behind.
If the first half had lacked inspiration from the Sky Blues, the second half had it in abundance after a five star and five goal showing.
Jude Winchester and Mark Patton traded chances in the opening minutes before Lorcan Forde called Jordan Williamson into a smart stop, but on 54 minutes United leveled. A couple of balls into the box were dealt with by Dungannon, but finally Shay McCartan's cross picked out a totally unmarked Winchester who headed home from six yards out.
Winchester's was the first goal of three in a six minute Braidmen blitz, as Hume put Ballymena ahead with his first goal for the club. A cross from the left made its way through a sea of players in the box and fell to Hume who nodded home at the back post.
Dungannon's second half went from bad to worse on 59 minutes when Sam Johnston brought down Shay McCartan in the box for the second penalty of the day. The ever-reliable Paul McElroy stepped up and buried his pin-point penalty into the bottom corner, past Johnston who'd went the right way. It was McElroy's sixth goal of the season.
By now Ballymena were playing with swagger and McElroy forced Johnston into a good stop before McCartan's long range free kick deflected inches wide. It was 4-1 United on 72 minutes after a stunning counter attacking goal. Josh Kelly, who'd had a top quality second half, won the ball back in his own half and fed McElroy down the left. McElroy's fired ball into the middle of the box was perfect for the arriving McCartan and he emphatically finished to round off a fine goal.
Captain Leroy Millar looked to get in on the act and some dazzling solo work on the right warranted him to have a crack, with Johnston again saving well.
With it wave after wave of Ballymena attack Ciaran Kelly had a header cleared off the line by Carvill before Johnston saved yet again from McCartan, but shortly afterwards McCartan wasn't to be denied. Millar found McCartan on the edge of the box and the former Northern Ireland international, who'd been going through the gears as the game progressed, produced a moment of magic to duke past two players with lightning quick feet, before firing across goal into the bottom corner.
Tony Kane, Ryan Harpur and McCready all came on late on and the latter was denied by Johnston, whose heroics kept the score to five, as a stunning second half performance from the Sky Blues made it four wins in five.
Ballymena United host Glentoran at the Showgrounds in the Danske Bank Premiership next Saturday afternoon, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Jordan Williamson, Trai Hume, Kofi Balmer, Ciaran Kelly, Jonathan Addis, Ross Redman, Joshua Kelly ( Tony Kane 87), Leroy Millar ( Ryan Harpur 87), Jude Winchester, Paul McElroy ( Joseph McCready 87), Seamus McCartan.

Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Jim Ervin, Ryan Waide, Owen McKeown.