Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena boss Jeffrey urges new squad to increase his selection headache

Dungannon Swifts 0 Ballymena United 2

By Adrian Rutherford

David Jeffrey admits he will face selection headaches at Ballymena this season.

The Sky Blues have been busy in the transfer market during the summer, bringing in a host of new faces. Five of them started against Dungannon, where Ballymena kicked off with a win.

Willie Faulkner and Tony Kane were both on target at Stangmore Park.

Afterwards, Jeffrey said selecting his final team had been a difficult task, and admitted it will not get any easier as the season unfolds.

"Of course it will be hard," he said. "The one thing that players want is to know that decision-making is fair. It will be tough and we're hoping the players will make it tough, and they will if they are competing and playing."

Ballymena led at half-time through Faulkner's classy lobbed finish. Dungannon tried to hit back after the break, but went 2-0 down when they conceded a penalty, converted by Kane.

The Swifts ended with 10 men after Christopher Hegarty was booked twice.

This was the fourth year running that Dungannon had started with a loss. Head coach Rodney McAree said: "There were stages today where, had we been a bit better in the final third, we were knocking on the door. It could have been a bit better, but we're not too far away. Today wasn't too bad."

DUNGANNON: Moore, Lowe, Hegarty, Armstrong, Dykes, O'Rourke, Wilson (Coyle, 63 mins), Hutchinson (Teggart, 35 mins), McMullan, Burke (Soares, 70 mins), Hughes. Unused subs: Addis, McGinty, Campbell, Smyth.

BALLYMENA UTD: Ross Glendinning, Burns, Kane, Addis, McCullough, Faulkner, Whiteside, Winchester (Knowles, 73 mins), Mayse (McGinty, 77 mins), McGrory, McMurray (Lecky, 73 mins). Unused subs: McDermott, Nolan, Ervin, Millar

Referee: Gareth Eakin (Portadown)

Man of the match: William Faulkner

Match rating: 5/10

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