SKY BLUES 'TWO' STRONG FOR GLENS
Ballymena United got 2023 off to a winning start with a two-goal defeat of Glentoran at The Showgrounds.
The Sky Blues moved in front midway through the first half when Sean Graham dragged the ball onto his left foot before firing under keeper Aaron McCarey from an acute angle.
United went close again moments later with a Josh Kelly header while, at the other end, Sean O'Neill punched a Sean Murray free-kick to safety.
The Glens threatened again when Seanan Clucas connected with Rhys Marshall's cross before, not long from the break, he saw a header tipped over by the home keeper.
It was a similar tale in the second half - Jordan Gibson twice tested McCarey early on, while Marcus Kane fired narrowly over for the Glens with Clucas later nodding wide from a Hrvoje Plum corner.
However, Ballymena made sure of the points with six minutes left when Ryan Waide sent a crisp finish past McCarey after Jack Henderson had played him in from the left.
Ballymena United: O’Neill, Nelson, Whiteside, McDaid, Kelly, Waide, McCullough, Gibson, Keeley, Graham, Place subs Williamson, Redman, McElroy, Kane, Henderson, McGrory, McVarnock
Glentoran: McCarey, Kane, McCullough, Marshall, J. Donnelly, R. Donnelly, Murray, McClean, Clucas, Devlin, Purkis subs Webber, Roy, Murphy, Smith, Plum, Wightman, McLaughlin