Match Centre

Premiership
Friday 11 August 2023 (kick off: 7.45 PM)

Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds

Attendance: 1703

Referee: Tim Marshall

Ballymena United home-team
1 FT 2
away-team Crusaders
  •   Ryan Waide 90+7'
  •   Adam Lecky 16'
  •   Jarlath O'Rourke 29'
football
Adam Lecky opened the scoring for the Crues ©Stephen Hamilton/INPHO

CRUES KICK OFF CAMPAIGN ON WINNING NOTE

Crusaders kicked off their 2023/24 Sports Direct Premiership campaign with a 2-1 victory over Ballymena United at The Showgrounds.

Stephen Baxter's side got off to a blistering start, creating early opportunities through Ben Kennedy and Paul Heatley only to be thwarted by keeper Sean O'Neill and some last ditch defending.

A goal seemed inevitable and it duly arrived on 16 minutes when a Kennedy ball into the six yard box reached Adam Lecky who wasted no time firing past O'Neill at the back post.

Ballymena might have levelled midway through the first half when Scot Whiteside found Johnny McMurray but his effort fizzed narrowly wide.

But the Crues doubled their lead moments later. A Lecky cross to the far post was knocked on by Heatley as far as Jarlath O'Rourke who made no mistake with a close range finish.

And the visitors might well have extended their advantage before the break, with Heatley being denied by O'Neill before having a 'goal' ruled out offside.

Ballymena's hopes of salvaging anything from the game were dealt a blow on the hour when skipper Colin Coates was dismissed for a challenge on Heatley, but they did grab a late consolation through Ryan Waide who sent a spectacular effort past Jonny Tuffey seven minutes into stoppage time.

Ballymena United: O'Neill, Nelson, Whiteside, Coates, Graham, Waide, McCullough, McGuigan, McMullan, McMurray, Place subs Johnston, Kane, O'Boyle, Gibson, Murray, Tennant, Crawford

Crusaders: Tuffey, Callacher, Weir, Lowry, Kennedy, Lecky, Forsythe, O'Rourke, Larmour, Heatley, McKeown subs Williamson, Teelan, Owens, Winchester, Smith, Anderson, Clarke

  • FULL TIME
    Ballymena United   1 - 2 Crusaders
  • GOAL

    Ryan Waide

    Loughgall

    90+7'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Sean Graham

    Larne

    90+2'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Lewis Tennant

    Ballymena United

    90+2'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Philip Lowry

    Crusaders

    90'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Paul Heatley

    Unregistered Players

    90'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    James Teelan

    Unregistered Players

    90'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Lloyd Anderson

    Crusaders

    90'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Jordan McMullan

    Coagh United

    82'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Fiontan O'Boyle

    Coagh United

    82'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Ben Kennedy

    Crusaders

    82'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Adam Lecky

    Crusaders

    82'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Jordan Owens

    Crusaders

    82'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Jude Winchester

    Crusaders

    82'
  •  Yellow Card

    Scot Whiteside

    Linfield

    79'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    John McGuigan

    Unregistered Players

    65'
  • red subsititutions  Substitution

    Jonathan McMurray

    Ballymena United

    65'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    Jordan Gibson

    Loughgall

    65'
  • green subsititutions  Substitution

    TJ Murray

    Portadown

    65'
  •  Red Card

    Colin Coates

    Ballymena United

    60'
  •  Yellow Card

    John McGuigan

    Unregistered Players

    31'
  • GOAL

    Jarlath O'Rourke

    Crusaders

    29'
  • GOAL

    Adam Lecky

    Crusaders

    16'

Ballymena United

  • Sean O'Neill
  • Kym Nelson
  • Scot Whiteside 79'
  • Colin Coates 60'
  • Sean Graham red substitution 90+2'
  • Ryan Waide 90+7'
  • Steven McCullough
  • John McGuigan 31' red substitution 65'
  • Jordan McMullan red substitution 82'
  • Jonathan McMurray red substitution 65'
  • Mikey Place

Substitutes

  • Sam Johnston
  • Kenneth Kane
  • Fiontan O'Boyle green substitution 82'
  • Jordan Gibson green substitution 65'
  • TJ Murray green substitution 65'
  • Lewis Tennant green substitution 90+2'
  • Caleb Crawford

Crusaders

  • Jonathan Tuffey
  • Jimmy Callacher
  • Robbie Weir
  • Philip Lowry red substitution 90'
  • Ben Kennedy red substitution 82'
  • Adam Lecky red substitution 82' 16'
  • Jordan Forsythe
  • Jarlath O'Rourke 29'
  • Daniel Larmour
  • Paul Heatley red substitution 90'
  • Rory McKeown

Substitutes

  • Jordan Williamson
  • James Teelan green substitution 90'
  • Jordan Owens green substitution 82'
  • Jude Winchester green substitution 82'
  • Malachy Smith
  • Lloyd Anderson green substitution 90'
  • Ross Clarke
© Stephen Hamilton/PressEye

Ballymena United

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