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Ballymena clean sheet and victory delights David Jeffrey

Ballinamallard United 0 Ballymena United 1

By Gareth Cauldwell

Published 15/08/2016

Spot on: Tony Kane (centre) and team mates celebrate his goal
Spot on: Tony Kane (centre) and team mates celebrate his goal

After a week in which they conceded nine goals in two games, Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey was delighted to have kept a clean sheet as his side picked up their first win of the season at Ballinamallard.

The Sky Blues were hit for six by champions Crusaders on the opening day and shipped three in the midweek draw against Glenavon so the target for the players was simple at Ferney Park - don't concede.

"I'm overjoyed with a cleansheet," said Jeffrey. "That experience (against Crusaders) was embarrassing for the players and it was very harsh but it was actually a good lesson. I asked for a response against Glenavon and they gave it to me in abundance.

"Coming down here, I said to the players let's see if we can keep a clean sheet. We have conceded six and we've conceded three so let's keep a clean sheet and see where that takes us. They kept a clean sheet and they got the goal and to be fair we should have scored more than the one, but I'm really pleased."

The only goal arrived 20 minutes into the second half and had a touch of controversy with referee Steven Taylor adjudging that Mallards goalkeeper James McGrath impeded Cathair Friel as he raced through on goal.

Kane stepped up and converted from the spot to give Ballymena a thoroughly deserved win after they dominated throughout.

"The players deserve all the credit, they worked very hard and they played some decent football and they deservedly got the three points," added Jeffrey.

Balllinamallard: McGrath, Morris, Elliott (Currie, 75 mins), R Taheny, J Lafferty (McIlwaine 54 mins), McCartney, McGinty, McCabe, McConnell, Lecky (McKenna, 79 mins), Armstrong.

Ballymena: Glendinning, T Kane, Owens, Flynn,Thompson, Jenkins, Friel, Wallace, Lowry (Shevlin, 68 mins), Ervin, Miller (McCloskey, 80 mins).

Referee: Steven Taylor (Belfast)

Man of the match: Tony Kane

Match rating: 6/10

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