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Match Centre

Premiership
Friday 28 January 2022 (kick off: 7.45 PM)

Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds

Attendance: 1436

Referee: Lee Tavinder

Ballymena United home-team
2 FT 2
away-team Cliftonville
  •   Leroy Millar 88'
  •   Paul McElroy 90+2' (pen)
  •   Jamie McDonagh 18' 81'
football
©Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

SKY BLUES STAGE DRAMATIC SHOWGROUNDS FIGHTBACK

Ballymena United and Cliftonville shared the points at The Showgrounds in a game that ended in dramatic fashion.

For most of the evening the eventual outcome looked most unlikely as two superb Jamie McDonagh strikes seemed to put the Reds very much in the driving seat but Ballymena's never-say-die attitude ended with the Sky Blues salvaging a point.

A quiet start to proceedings saw both sides trying to cope with the increasingly blustery conditions, but it was visitors Cliftonville that seemed to adapt sooner.

The Reds almost moved in front when McDonagh squared the ball across the face of goal for Chris Gallagher but Sean Graham was on hand to clear the danger off the line.

Then, not long after that, Ryan Curran fired into the side netting before McDonagh saw an effort palmed away by Ciaran Gallagher while Joe Gormley's attempted rebound was blocked.

But Cliftonville did find a way through on 18 minutes in spectacular fashion when, from the edge of the area, McDonagh unleashed an utterly unstoppable right-foot volley past a static Gallagher into the far corner.

And McDonagh almost doubled up a few minutes after that but failed to find the target in front of a gaping goal, although the ball did seem to bounce awkwardly before he connected.

Ballymena did come into the game the more the first half progressed, with Mikey Place only denied by a Jonny Addis block while Leroy Millar just failed to get a strong enough connection on Ross Redman's corner.

Former Sky Blue Addis should have made it 2-0 just after the hour when a McDonagh corner reached him at the back post but he couldn't find a way to touch the ball over the line.

However, Cliftonville's second eventually arrived on 81 minutes and, arguably, it was even better than the first. McDonagh once again demonstrated his deadly form by collecting a loose ball, evading a number of tackles to get past the home defence and then beating Gallagher with the outside of his right foot from around 18 yards.

Ballymena grabbed what seemed to be a consolation with a couple of minutes to go when skipper Millar caught the Reds defence napping to beat Luke McNicholas at the near post.

However, two minutes into stoppage time, referee Lee Tavinder adjudged that Gallagher was guilty of handball as the ball bounced around the area and, from the resultant spot-kick, Paul McElroy stepped up to power a strong penalty straight down the middle of the goal.

Ballymena United: Gallagher, Redman, McCullough, Kane, Barr, McGrory, Parkhouse, Keeley, Millar, Graham, Place subs McElroy (replaced McCullough 89), Waide (not used), Henderson (replaced Barr 84), Rodgers (not used), Bramall (replaced Kane 85), Smith (replaced Place 85), Nelson (replaced Parkhouse 74)

Cliftonville: McNicholas, McDermott, Ives, R. Curran, McDonagh, Lowe, Addis, Doherty, Gormley, Turner, Gallagher subs McKenna (not used), Harney (replaced R. Curran 86), C. Curran (replaced Doherty 81), O'Neill (replaced Gormley 74), Donnelly (replaced Lowe 86), Coates (not used), Kearns (not used)

  • FULL TIME
    Ballymena United   2 - 2 Cliftonville
  • PENALTY SCORED

    Paul McElroy

    Ballymena United

    90+2'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Steven McCullough

    Ballymena United

    89'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Paul McElroy

    Ballymena United

    89'
  • GOAL

    Leroy Millar

    Larne

    88'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Ryan Curran

    Cliftonville

    86'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Kris Lowe

    Cliftonville

    86'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Jamie Harney

    Unregistered Players

    86'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Aaron Donnelly

    Larne

    86'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Kenneth Kane

    Ballymena United

    85'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Mikey Place

    Ballymena United

    85'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Daniel Bramall

    Unregistered Players

    85'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Jonte Smith

    Unregistered Players

    85'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Brendan Barr

    Dungannon Swifts

    84'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Jack Henderson

    Ballymena United

    84'
  • GOAL

    Jamie McDonagh

    Cliftonville

    81'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Ronan Doherty

    Cliftonville

    81'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Chris Curran

    Cliftonville

    81'
  •  Yellow Card

    Paul O'Neill

    Larne

    75'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    David Parkhouse

    Ballymena United

    74'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Kym Nelson

    Ballymena United

    74'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Joe Gormley

    Cliftonville

    74'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Paul O'Neill

    Larne

    74'
  •  Yellow Card

    Luke McNicholas

    Unregistered Players

    72'
  • GOAL

    Jamie McDonagh

    Cliftonville

    18'

Ballymena United

  • Ciaran Gallagher
  • Ross Redman
  • Steven McCullough red substitution 89'
  • Kenneth Kane red substitution 85'
  • Brendan Barr red substitution 84'
  • Andrew McGrory
  • David Parkhouse red substitution 74'
  • Conor Keeley
  • Leroy Millar 88'
  • Sean Graham
  • Mikey Place red substitution 85'

Substitutes

  • Paul McElroy green substitution 89' 90+2'
  • Ryan Waide
  • Jack Henderson green substitution 84'
  • Christopher Rodgers
  • Daniel Bramall green substitution 85'
  • Jonte Smith green substitution 85'
  • Kym Nelson green substitution 74'

Cliftonville

  • Luke McNicholas 72'
  • Conor McDermott
  • Levi Ives
  • Ryan Curran red substitution 86'
  • Jamie McDonagh 18' 81'
  • Kris Lowe red substitution 86'
  • Jonathan Addis
  • Ronan Doherty red substitution 81'
  • Joe Gormley red substitution 74'
  • Luke Turner
  • Chris Gallagher

Substitutes

  • Ruadhán McKenna
  • Jamie Harney green substitution 86'
  • Chris Curran green substitution 81'
  • Paul O'Neill 75' green substitution 74'
  • Aaron Donnelly green substitution 86'
  • Colin Coates
  • Daniel Kearns
© Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Ballymena United

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