PURKIS STRIKE ENOUGH FOR GLENS
A Danny Purkis goal late in the game proved enough for Glentoran to defeat Ballymena United at the BetMcLean Oval.
The 27-year-old struck with just two minutes of normal time remaining after finding enough space in the area to direct the ball past keeper Jordan Williamson after being teed up by Shay McCartan.
The points move Glentoran up into fourth spot in the standings, and was perhaps no less than they deserved after a bright start to the game that produced a number of chances during the opening quarter-of-an-hour with Conor McMenamin perhaps coming closest when he shaved the outside of an upright with a left-foot strike.
Ballymena might have opened the scoring themselves midway through the first half but David McDaid could only snatch at the ball after Rhys Marshall only partially cleared a Kenny Kane cross from the right.
Purkis came close in the closing moments of the opening period after connecting with a Niall McGinn cross only to see his volley brush off the top of the crossbar.
The sides traded half chances after the break, with McGinn seeing an effort blocked while McDaid failed to direct a header goal bound.
Further opportunities arose for the Glens. McMenamin had a go from distance while neither James Singleton nor McGinn could make the most of a Purkis header back across goal.
Indeed, that was largely the story of the second half until Purkis popped up late on ... and there was almost time for a second only for Williamson to do well to keep out a McMenamin shot with his leg.
Glentoran: Webber, Kane, McCullough, Wilson, Burns, Marshall, Singleton, Devlin, Purkis, McMenamin, McGinn subs Henderson, McCartan, J. Donnelly, R. Donnelly, Crowe, Wightman, Uzokwe
Ballymena United: Williamson, Nelson, Redman, Wilson, McDaid, Waide, Kane, McVarnock, Graham, Place, Farquhar subs McCullough, Henderson, McGrory, Gibson, Tipton, Tennant, Clarke