Leroy Millar (6)

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Leroy Millar celebrates scoring Ballymena's early winner (©INPHO/Jonathan Porter)

SKY BLUES STEP CLOSER TO RUNNERS-UP SPOT

Leroy Millar bagged the winner as Ballymena United defeated Coleraine to move closer to securing the runners-up spot.

Millar scored what proved to be the only goal of the game as early as the sixth minute with a right foot finish just inside the post.

Coleraine almost crafted a swift response with two back-to-back Jamie McGonigle efforts, a header wide from Ben Doherty's free-kick followed by a 20-yard strike kept out by Ross Glendinning.

The sides traded chances as the first half progressed with Steven McCullough's ball across the face of goal Ballymena's best effort while McGonigle saw another strike from outside the area tipped over.

After the break, Coleraine had a massive let off when the unmarked Jonathan McMurray blazed the ball over from inside the area.

Indeed, Ballymena looked the more likely to add to their tally with Andy McGrory coming close with a header over the top at the back post while Adam Lecky was later denied by a superb Chris Johns save.

Another chance followed when Tony Kane's low 25-yard effort was deflected away for a corner with the subsequent set piece being headed onto the top of the crossbar by Jonathan Addis.

Ballymena United: Glendinning, Kane, Addis, McCullough, McGrory, Balmer, Ervin, Lecky, Millar, McMurray, Watson subs Williamson (not used), Quigley (not used), Whiteside (not used), Mayse (replaced McMurray 71), McGinty (not used), Faulkner (not used), Shevlin (not used)

Coleraine: Johns, Douglas, Carson, O'Donnell, Parkhill, McGonigle, Canning, B. Doherty, Edgar, Glackin, Shiels subs M. Doherty (not used), McLaughlin (replaced B. Doherty 71), Bradley (replaced Edgar 83), Crown (not used), Burke (not used), Davidson (replaced Glackin 62), King (not used)

Referee: Steven Gregg

Attendance: 1448

Tags:  Ballymena United  Coleraine