Belfast Telegraph

Wind-hit clash should've been called off, says Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson

By Gordon Hanna

Glenavon 0 Ballynmena United 0:L Glenn Ferguson came up with the idea of giving supporters their money back after this farce in high winds and driving rain.

In fact, Spike went so far as to say the game should have been abandoned.

"I'm a great advocate of calling off games when wind speeds reach a certain level and this was one of those days," said the Ballymena boss.

"It was nearly impossible to get the ball down and play football. It was a poor game for supporters, who deserved to have been given their money back on the way out of the ground.

"There were not too many shots on target and not too much creativity, but if there is a small consolation for both teams it is that we got a point apiece and kept a clean sheet."

That was down in the main to United goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson, who made several crucial stops.

In the first-half, he clutched Mark Patton's cross just as Ciaran Martyn was about to pounce and, just short of the hour mark, raced from his line to again deny Martyn.

But his piece de resistance was getting his hand to Gareth McKeown's 79th minute wind assisted free-kick, which was whistling dangerously towards his top right hand corner.

Glenavon had Kyle Neill red carded for two bookable offences in the 68th minute and, nine minutes from time, Gary Hamilton had the ball in the net. However, his effort was disallowed for an offside.

Ballymena's best chance was teed up by Shane Dolan for Gary Thompson just before half-time, but he rifled his shot over the top of the bar.

Glenavon were without suspended defensive duo Eddie McCallion and Winkie Murphy as well as injured top scorer Guy Bates, which prompted coach Nigel Law to conclude: "It was a point gained on a difficult day.

"We came into the game with players missing and we had players who played when they should not have played.

"It was always going to be hard for us with our resources being down, although we were always comfortable and managed to work their goal more than they worked ours.

"And even when we were down to 10 men, defensively we were solid and always looked as if we could get something on the counter attack.Given how other results went, it's a good point for us."

If Ferguson had a grouse, it was his side's failure to capitalise during the 22 minutes the opposition was down to 10 men after Neill's sending off after two yellow cards.

He moaned: "We're away with a point but after they went down to 10 men we should have capitalised more but didn't. There was not much created in the attacking third."

GLENAVON: Coleman, Marshall, Lindsay, Neill, McGrory, Kilmartin, McCabe, Patton (Rainey, 66 mins), Martyn, Hamilton. Unused substitutes: McDaid, McIlveen, Dane, Gardiner

BALLYMENA: Nelson, McCullagh, Munster (Lowry, 82 mins), Taylor, Stewart, Cushley (Liggett, 88 mins), Kane, Surgenor, Dolan (Teggart, 64 mins), Thompson, Jenkins. Unused subs: Taggart, McLellan

Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown)

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