Belfast Telegraph

McMurray back as Ballymena 'positive' ahead of County Antrim Shield decider

Ards 1 Ballymena United 0

By Keith Bailie

Ballymena boss David Jeffrey does not believe Saturday's defeat to Ards will harm United's chances of lifting the Toals County Antrim Shield on Tuesday night.

The Sky Blues lost 1-0 to Ards, with Reece Glendinning scoring past his brother Ross in the 25th minute, but Jeffrey has already turned his attention to the Shield decider with Crusaders.

"We were disappointed with Saturday's defeat, but I wasn't with the performance," he said. "We worked hard all over the park, so I had no complaints.

"I think we can now go into Tuesday's Shield final with a positive attitude and enjoy the experience. With the game at The Showgrounds, it will be a very special night.

"The good news is Johnny McMurray came off the bench against Ards after a long lay off and if it wasn't for a fine save by Sam Johnston, he would have scored. So that's a plus ahead of the final. Everyone in the dressing room is really looking forward to the game."

Ards manager Colin Nixon hailed the performances of Linfield loanees Glendinning and Cameron Stewart - who could soon be joined by Windsor Park team mate Ross Clarke. "Reece's goal had a touch of good fortune about it but I think he deserved that luck because he has been excellent for us," said Nixon.

"Cameron Stewart looked good on his debut. He's a strong lad that works hard and he was unlucky not to score."

ARDS: Johnston, Glendinning, Elebert, Byers, Ruddy, Frazer (J Kelly, 75 mins), L Kelly, Tommons, McAllister (Davidson, 66 mins), McLellan (Keke, 70 mins), Stewart. Unused subs: Cherry, McAleenan.

Ballymena: Glendinning, Ervin (Faulkner, 66 mins), Balmer, Owens, McCullough, McCaffrey, Kane (McKinney, 87 mins), McAlorum, McCloskey (McCloskey, 66 mins), Shevlin, Braniff. Unused subs: Friars, Friel.

Man of the match: Reece Glendinning

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)

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