Two goals 87 minutes apart from strikers Junior and Jay Donnelly gave Glentoran a third away clean sheet and win out of three in this dominant performance at the Showgrounds this evening.
Yet again, injuries forced Warren Feeney into playing another rearranged back four with James Singleton at right back, skipper Marcus Kane on the left with Paddy McClean making his first start of the season beside Luke McCullough. Cammy Palmer came into the midfield for the injured Bobby Burns and Junior started up front with Jay Donnelly.
United’s Johnny McMurray had the first chance after only four minutes when he met a deep cross only to see his header deflect over the crossbar. But almost immediately afterwards the Glens went in front. A Shay McCartan corner was nodded on by James Singleton and McClean before being athletically turned home by Junior.
Glentoran dominated the first half from this point but found clear cut chances hard to come by given the packed United defence. Ballymena created very little but on 35 minutes some of their more vocal supporters appeared disappointed not to be awarded a penalty when Fuad Sule made a great saving tackle from a United attack.
Half Time : Ballymena United 0-1 Glentoran
The Glens were forced into a half time substitution with Jonny Russell replacing Marcus Kane who had gone down hurt after a robust 50:50 challenge just before the break.
Daire O’Connor and Shay McCartan both got into good positions by Ballymena’s experienced keeper Sean O’Neill was up to the challenge on each occasion.
The half’s first real talking point came on 70 minutes when United’s Sean Graham was shown a red card after a second yellow for blatantly tugging Daire O’Connor’s shirt.
The home team could very easily have been down to 9 men with a minute to go. Fuad Sule was running down play near the United corner flag when ex-Glens player Kym Nelson unceremoniously brought him down. Nelson was lucky to escape his act of frustration.
Jay Donnelly sealed the points on 94 minutes. Substitute Niall McGinn crossed from the right and the striker scooped home his 66th goal for the club, much to the delight of the travelling support.
Final Score : Ballymena United 0-2 Glentoran
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: McCarey, Singleton, Kane (c) (Russell 46), McCullough, McClean, Sule, Palmer (Kelly 80), McCartan (McGinn 87) , O’Connor, Junior, J. Donnelly
Subs (Not used): Webber, Wightman, Boyd, Walsh