FERRIS ON TARGET AS VILLAGERS BEAT SKY BLUES
Nathaniel Ferris knocked home the only goal of the game as Loughgall defeated Ballymena United at The Showgrounds, the third time the Villagers have beaten the Sky Blues this season.
After a somewhat cagey opening to the game it took until midway through the first half for the first effort of note when a quickly taken Ben Murdock free-kick saw Benji Magee bear down on goal only for his shot to lack the power to trouble Sean O'Neill.
At the other end Johnny McMurray stretched to meet a Ryan Waide cross into the area but couldn't keep his volley on target while, on the stroke of half-time, he fired wide after Kym Nelson had cut the ball back into his path.
McMurray threatened again early in the second half but on this occasion his low shot was kept out by keeper Berraat Turker.
And Ballymena paid for those missed opportunities just after the hour when Ferris got on the end of a right-sided Pablo Andrade cross to direct a header past O'Neill and into the net.
The home side pressed for the equaliser, and might have found it when a Steven McCullough free-kick was only kept out by a spectacular Turker dive to his right but Loughgall came close to extending their advantage moments later only for Jordan Gibson's goalbound effort to headed off the line by Waide.
Play switched again to the other end with only the post keeping Ballymena from levelling following a goalmouth scramble while, in the closing moments, Calvin McCurry almost marked his United debut with a goal but could only direct his shot wide.
Ballymena United: O’Neill, Nelson, Rocks, Whiteside, Waide, McCullough, Taylor, McMurray, Boyle, Brown, Robinson subs Johnston, McGrory, Tennant, Place, Stewart, Barr, McCurry
Loughgall: Turker, Rea, Murdock, Andrade, Ferris, Hoey, Norton, Gibson, Balde, Magee, Loughran subs Devine, Carson, McAleer, Patton, Carroll, Harvey, Towe