Ballymena United beat Glentoran to go second in Danske Bank Premiership

United's Andy McGrory celebtrates
United's Andy McGrory celebtrates

Ballymena United 2, Glentoran 1

Ballymena United moved up to second place in the Danske Bank Premiership after a 2-1 win against Glentoran at the Shwgrounds last night.

And the Sky Blues could go top of the league on Friday night when they travel to face Newry City.

United took the lead through Andy McGrory in the first half before Curtis Allen pulled the Glens level in the second half. Tony Kane then scored from the penalty spot to seal the three points for the home side.

United had the first chance of the half in the 23rd minute. Jonathan McMurray's snap shot was deflected wide.

From the resulting corner Scot Whiteside's effort was blocked and cleared by the Glens defence.

It was 1-0 in the 25th minute as Andrew McGrory shooting home from a Steven McCullough cross. A crisp finish from McGrory who has been in fine form for the Sky Blues after moving from Glenavon in the summer.

In the 29th minute the Glens had a chance after United keeper Thomas McDermott spilled the ball to Curtis Allen. His effort however was just off target.

McMurray then went close for the home side in the 30th minute. Glens keeper Elliott Morris gathering the striker's effort without to much drama.

The Glens became more involved in the game in the next ten minutes with Allen, Robbie McDaid and Joe Crowe all looking to get involved.

United's McMurry went on a run in the 43rd minute and turned his marker. His shot however was high and wide.

Glentoran had the first chance of the second half in the 52nd minute. A Ross Redman cross found Allen and his header was easily gathered by McDermott in the United goal.

It was 1-1 in the 53rd minute through that duo of Redman and Allen. Defender Redman crossed it in from the left and Allen headed home while the United defence looked on.

The Glens had another chance in the 60th minute. A ball found Marcus Kane who shot just wide of the United post. It was a good chance wasted.

United were struggling to get to grips with the Glens and Sky Blues manager David Jeffrey was urging his players to pick up the tempo.

Tony Kane tried his luck from a free-kick in the 70th minute but it flew high and wide of the Glens goal.

United were awarded a penalty in the 73rd minute as substitute Cathar Friel was pulled down in the box by William Garrett.

Kane stepped up to send Morris the wrong way and it was 2-1 to United.

Allen had another chance for the Glens in the 81st minute. He twisted and turned before shooting straight at keep McDermott.

Ballymena United: McDermott, Kane, Whiteside, McCullough, Burns, McGrory, Winchester (Knowles 76mins) , Ervin, Lecky (Shevlin 80mins), Millar, McMurray (Friel 67mins).

Subs not used: McCauley, Nolan, Balmer, Glendinning.

Glentoran: Morris, Garrett (Davidson 80mins), Kane, Birney, Gallagher, Allen, McDaid (McMahon 57mins), Kerr, Pepper, Crowe, Redman.

Subs not used: Nelson, Gordon, Ferrin, McCarthy, O'Neill.

Referee: Lee Tavinder