Ryan Curran (2)

1

Jonathan McMurray (15)

1

Jim Ervin and Joe Gormley in action (©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)

ALL SQUARE AT SOLITUDE

Ballymena United's fast fading title hopes were finally extinguished with this draw at Solitude against Cliftonville.

David Jeffrey's side now must focus on securing the runners-up spot and a Europa League place but even though seemed a tall order as early as the second minute wen Ryan Curran scuffed Cliftonville into the lead after Chris Curran had cut the ball back from the touchline.

Just prior to that Rory Donnelly almost scored when he dispossessed Johnny Addis only to chip the ball the wrong side of the post.

Ballymena seemed to struggle initially with the blustery conditions but duly equalised after a quarter-of-an-hour had elapsed when Jonathan McMurray gave Reds keeper Richard Brush no chance with a first time strike after Leroy Millar's ball fell into his path.

McMurray had the ball in the net not long after that but this was ruled out offside.

The second half was a somewhat disappointing affair and although Cliftonville created some half chances through Ryan Curran, Rory Donnelly and Joe Gormley neither keeper was really tested in a game that became increasingly scrappy and, at times, ill-tempered.

Cliftonville: Brush, Ives, Breen, Grace, Harney, C. Curran, R. Curran, R. Donnelly, Bagnall, Gormley, Gorman subs Neeson (not used), McGovern (not used), R. Harkin (not used), McConnell (not used), Maguire (not used), McMenamin (replaced Ives 86), A. Donnelly (not used)

Ballymena United: Glendinning, Addis, Whiteside, McCullough, McGrory, Balmer, Ervin, Lecky, Millar, McMurray, Watson subs Williamson (not used), Kane (not used), Quigley (not used), Mayse (not used), McGinty (not used), Faulkner (not used), Shevlin (not used)

Referee: Evan Boyce

Attendance: 1117

Tags:  Ballymena United  Cliftonville