Belfast Telegraph

Owens says victory over Carrick can kick-start Sky Blues' season

Ballymena Utd 3 Carrick Rangers 1

By Stephen Alexander

Kyle Owens believes that Ballymena United's season can move into overdrive now that the Sky Blues have clambered into the top six positions in the Danske Bank Premiership.

The defender was on target as United stormed back from a goal down to overcome stubborn Carrick at the Showgrounds thanks to three goals inside the final 20 minutes.

Just two minutes after Owens' header had cancelled out Eamon McAllister's first half opener for Carrick, Conor McCloskey's clever lobbed goal put Ballymena ahead before Matthew Shevlin's close-range goal secured the win.

"Throughout the first half we were getting annoyed and getting on top of each other but at half time David (Jeffrey) told us to relax and chances would come," said Owens. "He made us aware before the game that if we won, we could be in the top six and to reach the top six by Christmas is brilliant.

For Carrick boss David McAlinden it was another frustrating afternoon as his side remain firmly in the relegation scrap.

"It was just the way it panned out so quickly, from going from doing okay at 1-0 up with 70-odd minutes on the clock and then suddenly a few minutes later you're behind," said McAlinden.

Ballymena: Glendinning, Ervin, Owens, Balmer, McCullough, Kane, McCaffrey (Shevlin, 57 mins), McCloskey, McKinney (Thompson, 57 mins), Friel, McMurray. Unused subs: Brennan, McAlorum.

Carrick: Doherty, Chapman, Larmour, McNally, Edgar, Taggart (Maybin, 79 mins), McAllister, Hassin, Roy, Smith (Morrow, 84 mins), Mooney (Surgenor, 69 mins). Unused subs: Gage, Clarke.

Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor)

Man of the match: Kyle Owens

Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph

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