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We're not safe yet: Jeffrey after Reds draw


Cliftonville's Marc Smyth gets above Ballymena's Willie Faulkner

Cliftonville's Marc Smyth gets above Ballymena's Willie Faulkner


Cliftonville's Marc Smyth gets above Ballymena's Willie Faulkner

Ballymena United may be seven points off the bottom of the Premiership table, with a game in hand, but David Jeffrey insists his new club are still in a relegation battle.

The Sky Blues complete their regular season against Irish Cup finalists Glenavon tomorrow night but Jeffrey knows the real battle to avoid the drop begins on Saturday.

"It would be great if we get something out of Tuesday's game but we are down the bare bones and we don't have Gavin Taggart (shown a straight red for head-butting James Knowles) and Eoin Kane is also unavailable. Glenavon will be on a high after their tremendous result on Friday night so we will have to be at our very best," said Jeffrey.

"These last three games have been a good platform but we still have to play the other five teams in the bottom half and things can change very quickly. So it's just being realistic that we are in a relegation fight."

Kyle McVea and a penalty converted by Tony Kane gave Ballymena a two-goal lead against Cliftonville after 24 minutes but the Reds hit back immediately through Jay Donnelly and the equaliser, eight minutes from time from substitute Daniel Hughes was the least they deserved for a determined second-half fightback.

"I'm happy to claw a point back but disappointed we didn't get all three," said Cliftonville boss Gerard Lyttle.

It's now just one win in six for the Reds as they also play catch-up tomorrow night with a game against Carrick Rangers.

Ballymena United: Blayney, Ervin, McVey, Taylor, McBride, Thompson, Taggart, T Kane, Frazer (E Kane, 88 mins), Jenkins, Faulkner (Henderson, 82 mins).

Cliftonville: Burke, Brennan (Hughes, 69 mins), Smyth, Bonner, Ives, Garrett (Mooney, 81 mins), Winchester, Knowles, M Donnelly, J Donnelly, Murray.

Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus).

Belfast Telegraph