Saturday 6th March v. Larne (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 5:30pm

Larne Match Preview
Uploaded Saturday, 5th Dec, 2020 at 18:48

Date: Saturday, 5th December, 2020; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: N/A;
Portadown [0] [0]
Ballymena United [0] [0]
Venue: Shamrock Park; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Lee Tavinder; Assistant 1: Gareth Eakin; Assistant 2: George Argyropoulos; 4th Official: Keith Kennedy;
Goals:

BALLYMENA United had to settle for stalemate at Shamrock Park after a 0-0 draw with Portadown on Saturday afternoon.
United made one change to last week's starting line up ahead of their first visit to Portadown in four years, with Joe McCready coming in for Cathair Friel.
Had fans been inside the ground, they'd have had little to get excited about in a quiet first half to say the least. The first chance eventually fell the way of the Ports when Greg Hall's cross was met by Lee Bonis, but Jordan Williamson easily saved. Ballymena were seeing the majority of the ball but couldn't carve out any chances. The closest they came in the opening half hour was a Shay McCartan shot that was easily blocked by Paddy McNally.
The hosts were posing somewhat of a threat on the break and came close when Chris Lavery almost picked out Bonis, but Jonny Addis made a timely clearance.
On the half hour mark one of McCartan's surges was stopped illegally by McNally, with the ex-Sky Blue unfortunately injuring himself in the tackle, seeing him disappointingly stretchered off. After a five minute delay, McCartan's free kick hit the wall and Trai Hume's volleyed rebound went wide.
At the end of the half Adam Salley looked like tapping home a cross only for Addis again to be in the right place at the right time, before Lavery dragged arguably the chance of the half wide.
The second half was better than the first, although not by much. Again the first chance of the half came the home side's way. Hall looked certain to head home at the back post from a Stephen Teggart cross, but Ross Redman got a crucial nick on the ball. On the stroke of the hour mark the Braidmen came within inches of opening the scoring. A free kick pinballed before falling to Leroy Millar the back post and from an almost impossible angle the skipper struck the post, with Kofi Balmer then firing over.
It marked the start of the away teams strongest period of the game as Josh Kelly saw a well hit effort soar just over the crossbar and McCartan from distance called Ben Pierce into a fine save.
In the final fifteen minutes it was almost all United on the ball, but they lacked any real danger and cutting edge, with Portadown still carrying a bit of a threat on the counter. Strong play from substitute Ryan Waide and Millar led to a Redman chance which was again saved by Pierce, but other half chances were wasted.
In added time Balmer had the ball in the back of the net at the back post, but any thoughts of it being a winning goal were distinguished with the offside flag up straight away, as it finished scoreless.
United not totally at the races today and struggled to create, but it's a fourth straight clean sheet to move the Sky Blues into 4th in the table.
Ballymena United travel to Stangmore Park to take on Dungannon Swifts 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 ( 56), Ross Redman, Joshua Kelly, Leroy Millar, Paul McElroy, Seamus McCartan ( Jude Winchester 82), Joseph McCready ( Ryan Waide 70 71).

Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane, Ryan Harpur, Jim Ervin, Owen McKeown.

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