Darren Boyce celebrates grabbing United's third goal (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)
Saturday, 22 February 2014
BALLYMENA United survived a second half Warrenpoint Town revival to claim all three points from this meeting at The Showgrounds.
The fairly quiet opening offered up only a couple of Darren Boyce headers, one saved by Johnny Parr and the other over the bar.
United moved in front on 24 minutes following a Jonathan Cowan/John Boyle mix-up in the 'Point defence which allowed David Cushley to nip in and fire the ball across the 'keeper.
The Sky Blues doubled their advantage two minutes into stoppage time. Allan Jenkins was brought down by Warrenpoint 'keeper Parr - earning a straight red card for his trouble - and from the subsequent spot-kick Cushley stepped up to send stand-in 'keeper Shaun Parr the wrong way.
However, despite their numerical disadvantage, Warrenpoint came out all guns blazing after the break, eventually reducing the arrears on 67 minutes when Stephen McCabe got on the end of a Ruairi Devlin through ball to lift the ball over advancing 'keeper Aaron Shanahan.
And they might have levelled with around ten minutes remaining when another Devlin ball was met by Padraig Smith but he failed to convert.
But United grabbed what appeared to be their insurance goal soon after when Darren Boyce superbly volleyed an Ally Teggart cross into the roof of the net.
Warrenpoint showed their determination to salvage something from the game with a second goal with two minutes left after Stephen Hughes sent a low shot through Shanahan's hands.
Ballymena United: Shanahan, Ervin, Taylor, Stewart, McBride, Kane, Davidson, Jenkins, McLellan, Boyce, Cushley subs Taggart (replaced Davidson 84), Teggart (replaced McLellan 66), Surgenor (not used), McCullagh (replaced Stewart 55), Kelly (not used)
Warrenpoint Town: J. Parr, King, Mulgrew, Cowan, S. Parr, S. Hughes, Smith, Freeman, M. Hughes, Boyle, Havern subs Kearns (not used), D. Hughes (replaced Havern 46), McCabe (replaced Mulgrew 46), Devlin (replaced Freeman 64), Grant (not used)
Referee: Damien Basketfield
|David Cushley||90||24,45 +2p|