Monday 2nd January 2023
Kick Off 3.00pm
Tomorrow we begin the new year with our first trip of the season to Ballymena Showgrounds to face David Jeffrey’s eighth placed United.
Ballymena United have certainly had a mixed run of recent form, winning four and losing five of their last nine matches. Perhaps typifying why United currently find themselves in eighth place in the Premiership table, that run has included victories away to Crusaders and a resounding 4-1 Showgrounds win over third placed Cliftonville but also humbling defeats at basement side Portadown and tenth placed Newry City. They will be looking to bounce back from a 2-0 Boxing Day defeat at rivals Coleraine.
Since January 2007, the Glens have experienced only two defeats in this fixture – most recently in November 2018. Indeed, our last eighteen league visits to the Braidmen have seen an incredible eleven wins and five draws. We have drawn our last three visits to Warden Street with our last win there the result of two very late goals in August 2019. Last season’s only game at the Showgrounds ended in a 1-1 draw in March 2022, with United taking the lead just after half time through winger Ryan Waide before a penalty conceded by former Glens midfielder Kym Nelson on 55 minutes allowed Jay Donnelly to equalise from the spot and continue the run of draws at the venue.
There are likely to be three ex-Glentoran players in the Ballymena Squad – Kym Nelson, Ross Redman and Jack Henderson – with Stephen McCullough a doubt after picking up an injury on Boxing Day. This week they have placed striker David Parkhouse and defenders Conor Keeley and Caolan Loughran on the transfer list so the main threat will come from David McDaid and Paul McElroy, both of whom have inflicted damage on the Glens in the past with previous clubs.
Conor McMenamin remains injured for this one while Shay McCartan still has two games left of his suspension.