AN early goal from Leroy Millar was the difference the last time Coleraine and Ballymena United locked horns back in April…
Saturday, April 20, 2019
Ballymena United 1-0 Coleraine
Goal – Millar (‘6 mins)
COLERAINE suffered a derby day defeat as Leroy Millar’s first-half finish was enough to separate the two sides in a low key affair at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
The Braidmen hit the front with the first real attacking phase of play as Millar picked up possession at the edge of the box before hitting a curling effort inside the net via the post on six minutes.
Coleraine responded and thought they had levelled matters on 12 minutes as Ben Doherty’s inswinging corner kick was headed inches wide by Jamie McGonigle. A minute later, neat footwork by McGonigle presented the striker with space for a shot which was well saved by Ross Glendinning.
Both teams struggled to create chances in the first-half but on 37 minutes a clever flick by McGonigle released the run of Ian Parkhill, but the Ballymoney man failed to find the target. At the other end, the Stripes nearly went two goals behind as Steven McCullough surged into the area but his cut back failed to find a player in sky blue.
Just before the half-time whistle, the visitors carved out two more opportunities as McGonigle picked up the ball from deep and forced Glendinning into a superb save from 35 yards out, before Shiels arrowed over after neat football involving Ben Doherty and Parkhill
United should have doubled their lead on 50 minutes as the ball presented itself to Johnny McMurray inside the area but the marksman could only fire over the crossbar. On the hour mark, it was a case of deja-vu as a cross found Andy McGrory six yards out, but he failed to find the target.
It was one way traffic as the home side had a goal disallowed for offside after Chris Johns made a world class save to deny Adam Lecky, before the linesman ruled out McGrory’s follow-up. On 74 minutes, Tony Kane saw his daisy cutter flash inches wide, with the resulting corner-kick being headed onto the top of the bar by Jonny Addis.
With five minutes to go, United nearly sealed all three points as a fantastic cross into the box looked certain to find Lecky, but skipper Stephen O’Donnell made a vital last ditch tackle to prevent a certain goal.
The visitors couldn’t get going in the second-half as they fell to a defeat on Warden Street.
BALLYMENA UNITED: Glendinning, Kane, Addis, McCullough, McGrory, Balmer, Ervin, Lecky, Millar, Watson, McMurray (Mayse ’71 mins).
Subs Not Used: Williamson (GK), Quigley, Whiteside, McGinty, Faulkner, Shevlin.
COLERAINE: Johns, Douglas, Carson, O’Donnell, Parkhill, McGonigle, Canning, Doherty (McLaughlin ’71 mins), Edgar (Bradley ’83 mins), Glackin (Davidson ’62 mins), Shiels.
Subs Not Used: Doherty (GK), Crown, Burke, King.