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Saturday 23rd March v. Warrenpoint Town (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Wednesday, 26th Jul, 2017 at 08:31

Date: Tuesday, 25th July, 2017; Competition: Friendly; Attendance: N/A;
Albert Foundry [1] [1]
Ballymena United [4] [7]
Venue: Paisley Park; Kick-Off: 19:30;
[0-1] SHEVLIN, Matthew (15 mins), [0-2] McCLOSKEY, Conor (17 mins), [0-3] McCLOSKEY, Conor (24 mins), [0-4] ERVIN, Jim, (28 mins), [1-4] Unknown (37 mins), [1-5] THOMPSON, Gary (58 mins), [1-6] BURNS, Andrew (65 mins), [1-7] McCLOSKEY, Conor (84 mins)

BALLYMENA United were firing on all cylinders as they grabbed a 7-1 victory at Paisley Park on Tuesday night.
From the start United were passing the ball well and Matthew Shevlin was eager to make the most of his first start of the season, latching onto a Jim Ervin through ball and hitting the back of the net in the 15th minute. It took less than 2 minutes for Conor McCloskey to double the lead, skipping past the defence and firing past the keeper.
The two goal scorers were showing fine form, Shevlin hitting the post after some good play by McCloskey then Shevlin firing through to McCloskey who beat his man, rounded the keeper and tapped home to make it 3-0 on 24 minutes. The game hadn't even reached the half-hour mark by the time Ervin had bagged a goal, bundling the ball home after his first shot saved by the keeper.
The home side grabbed a goal back before half-time after a good through ball and an excellent strike to beat Ross Glendinning. Kevin Braniff was in fine form again, hitting the crossbar twice in the last 5 minutes of the half.
The break seen a raft of changes as Andrew Burns, Johnny Flynn, Gary Thompson, A Trialist, Willie Faulkner all came on for the second half.
Some neat play early in the second half seen Andrew Burns overlapping well on the right and Foundry being forced into blocking a few good chances, including a stunning touch and cross by McCloskey which reached Willie Faulkner who looked a cert to score, the ball being cleared off the line for a corner. Two minutes later and United were 4 ahead again though, Shevlin pulling a cross back towards Gary Thompson who fired low past the keeper.
5 minutes later Shevlin showed his skill again, firing narrowly over the bar, just before Andrew Burns shot low and just inside the post from distance, leaving the keeper stranded, to make the score 6-1. Moments later Willie Faulkner was played in by Stephen McAlorum but his first touch let him down. After another 10 minutes Shevlin had the ball in the back of the net but he was ruled offside.
Conor McCloskey grabbed his hat trick after some good work and a superb left footed strike, before Shevlin hit the post again with a few minutes left.
United will have been very pleased with the display put on tonight and look forward to a tougher test on Saturday in Limavady.
Next up for United is a trip to face Limavady United on Saturday afternoon, kicking off at 2:00pm.
Match Report by Paul Irwin
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Jim Ervin ( Andrew Burns 46), Emmet Friars ( Johnny Flynn 46), Steven McCullough, Conor McCloskey, Stephen McAlorum, Michael Gault ( Gary Thompson 46), Fra McCaffrey ( Trialist 46), Kevin Braniff ( Willie Faulkner 46), Matthew Shevlin.