Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena United forced to start forward in nets amid goalkeeping crisis as appeal rejected

Pacemaker - Belfast - -20/11/2019. Ballymena V H&W Welders Co Antrim Shield Semi Final Ballymenas Declan Carville In action In tonight
Pacemaker - Belfast - -20/11/2019. Ballymena V H&W Welders Co Antrim Shield Semi Final Ballymenas Declan Carville In action In tonight"s game at Warden Street Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press

Ballymena United have been forced to start attacker Declan Carville in nets with all three of the team's goalkeepers unavailable to face Glentoran.

Jordan Williamson was sent off during the Sky Blues' Boxing Day defeat at the hands of rivals Coleraine, a decision that infuriated boss David Jeffrey.

The boss said that "any right thinking person could see very clearly" that it shouldn't have been a red card for handling outside the area, although additional video footage indicated it wasn't quite so straight forward.

The club's appeal over the dismissal was rejected and with regular stoppers Ross Glendinning (hamstring) and Conor Friel (broken finger and ligament damage) both injured, Jeffrey was forced to name Carville in goals for the trip to the title-challenging Glens.

Carville was brought on as a substitute specifically to play in goals for the final 25 minutes of the Boxing Day derby, producing a succession of saves to deny Josh Carson and Ben Doherty.

Ideally, however, the club wouldn't have wanted to have thrown the 30-year-old into the situation for a full 90 minutes against a Glentoran team unbeaten in 11 games.

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