Jonathan McMurray is congratulated by his Ballymena United team-mates (©INPHO/Brian Little)
Friday, 02 November 2018
Jonathan McMurray turned supersub just six minutes after taking to the pitch to score Ballymena United's winner in the live TV game against Glenavon at The Showgrounds.
McMurray was perfectly placed inside the penalty area right at the end of normal tme to send a glancing header past Johnny Tuffey after another substitute, Tony Kane, had delivered a ball from out on the right to create the opening.
Ballymena had gone in front after just eight minutes when Cathair Friel cut the ball over from the right side of the area for Willie Faulkner to hook back into the path of Andrew McGrory who clinically sent the finish past Tuffey from the edge of the six-yard box.
Glenavon might have found the net either side of the goal. They almost moved in front themselves literally moments earlier only for Andy Hall to fluff his finish in front of goal after Stephen Murray had crossed from the left.
And not long after United keeper Ross Glendinning did well to punch a Darren King header clear despite coming under considerable pressure from Jamie Singleton.
The visitors started the second half on top, pushing for the equaliser but unable to find a way through.
But they almost fell further behind on 56 minutes after Faulkner crossed for Leroy Millar and whilst he beat his marker he could only flick the ball narrowly over.
A similar fate befell Murray with 20 minutes remaining when Mark Sykes found him with a delivery from a Rhys Marshall run.
Glenavon did level three minutes later, however, when the impressive Sykes beat Glendinning with a clever finish into the bottom corner after Marshall equally as skilfully touched the ball across the area into his path.
However, just as it looked likely a draw would be on the cards, McMurray popped up to secure the points for David Jeffrey's charges.
Ballymena United: Ro. Glendinning, Addis, Whiteside, Friel, Knowles, McCullough, Faulkner, McGrory, Ervin, Lecky, Millar subs McCauley (not used), Kane (replaced Knowles 77), Nolan (not used), Winchester (replaced Faulkner 73), Re. Glendinning (not used), McMurray (replaced Friel 84), Umar (not used)
Glenavon: Tuffey, King, Marron, Daniels, Marshall, Mitchell, Sykes, Hall, Murray, Singleton, Doherty subs Grace (not used), Donnelly (not used), Harmon (not used), Clingan (not used), McCloskey (replaced Hall 63), Muir (not used), Jenkins (replaced Mitchell 74)
Referee: Andrew Davey