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To Be Confirmed

Danske Bank Premiership fixtures announced

Uploaded Wednesday, 20th Apr, 2022 at 06:22

Date: Tuesday, 19th April, 2022; Competition: Danske Bank Premiership; Attendance: 698;
Ballymena United [0] [0]
Warrenpoint Town [0] [1]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Diarmuid Harrigan; Assistant 1: Stephen Donaldson; Assistant 2: Kristian Hanna; 4th Official: Louise Thompson;
[0-1] O'SULLIVAN, Alan (83 mins)

ALAN O'Sullivan's late strike condemned a poor Ballymena United to a hugely damaging 1-0 defeat to now relegated Warrenpoint Town at The Showgrounds on Tuesday evening.
There was just the one change to the side that beat Portadown at the weekend to close the gap on Glenavon to a single point, as Michael Place came in for Conor Keeley.
Buoyed on by Saturday's win to keep the race for 7th very much alive, United started well and within three minutes had rattled the woodwork. Steven McCullough's floated ball in from a free kick was met by Kym Nelson, but his forceful header came off the crossbar.
The next chance didn't come for another fifteen minutes as quality moments were hard to come by, but again the chance fell the hosts way, and again Nelson was denied by the woodwork as his header from a Ross Redman corner clipped the post.
As the half progressed Ballymena were dominating the ball, without doing a great deal with it, with a speculative free kick from McCullough the closest they'd came until a huge chance fell Place's way. Redman's ball over the top found Place, and when no flag went up, Place was left through on goal, but the forward never really looked sure what he wanted to do with the ball, before opting to slam it goalwards, only for Conor Mitchell to save well.
Warrenpoint hadn't saw much of the ball in the first half, but were far from under siege, and on the stroke of half time the visitors should've been ahead. A cross from the left seemed to catch Ballymena by surprise and in the box Luke Wade Slater easily evaded McCullough with good movement, before putting a free header wide, as a low key half ended scoreless.
The start of the second half was a sign of things to come as neither side really came out from the break looking like teams in need of vital points for differing reasons. The only threat of a chance in the first fifteen minutes came for Paul McElroy, but from a tight angle he saw his effort batted wide by Mitchell. Beyond the hour mark the game got as scrappy as it had been, with David Jeffrey right to berate United's decision making post game, as all too often the wrong ball was being played.
As Warrenpoint began to get a bit of a foothold, a volley from Adam Wixted from outside the box flew wide, before two big opportunities passed the Sky Blues by. First, Brendan Barr did well to set McElroy through on goal, but the forward opted to cross for Jack Henderson instead of shooting, and his ball was vitally cut out by a Warrenpoint boot at the last second. Minutes later, just after Leroy Millar had been introduced to try and spark some life into United, it was Waide's turn to go through on goal, but as he tried to hammer it home at the near post, Mitchell saved well again.
In the final fifteen minutes Ballymena's frustrations continued and the away side started to cause problems. Steven Ball looked like he could break the deadlock when he got a shot away, but Nelson put in a vital block, but with seven minutes left Ballymena's play-off hopes all but ended as Warrenpoint went ahead. The Braidmen failed to deal with a long ball and when it dropped kindly for Alan O'Sullivan, he saw Jordan Williamson off his line and sent the ball over the 'keeper and into the net from distance.
In the final five minutes Ballymena tried for a leveller but continued to find themselves drawing blanks. Substitute Kenneth Kane dragged a shot wide, before Millar flashed an effort of his own narrowly past the post.
In added time Warrenpoint almost made it 2-0 in style. Williamson was up on the halfway line for United and when a clearance found Ball, he tried his luck from his own half, but his effort bounced just wide of the home side's vacant goal.
With a minute left United's night was summed up when a McCullough cross dropped perfectly for Joshua Kelly in the box, but he fired straight at Mitchell, as a United side lacking any cutting edge and quality all night, fell to a poor defeat to the basement boys, who despite the three points, sadly couldn't avoid the drop.
Ballymena United are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they host Carrick Rangers in the penultimate Danske Bank Premiership game of the regular season, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Jordan Williamson, Ross Redman, Joshua Kelly, Paul McElroy ( Leroy Millar 66), Ryan Waide, Steven McCullough, Jack Henderson ( Kenneth Kane 77), Brendan Barr, Andrew McGrory, Kym Nelson, Michael Place.

Subs not used: Samuel Johnston, Caolan Loughran, Sean Graham, Malachy Smith, Jordan McMullan.