BALLYMENA UTD 1 BALLINAMALLARD UTD 1
BALLYMENA United and Ballinamallard United shared the spoils in an ill-tempered clash at the Showgrounds, with both sides ending the game with 10 men.
The visitors took a 12th minute lead when Mark McConkey’s cross from the right was headed home from close-range by Steve Feeney.
Ballymena replied from the penalty spot five minutes before the interval, Alan Teggart sending Alvin Rouse the wrong way from the spot after James McKenna had been adjudged to have handled Gary Thompson’s effort.
Tempers boiled over in first half stoppage time when Ballinamallard’s Jason McCartney was sent off for his reaction to Ballymena defender Johnny Taylor’s rash touchline challenge on Feeney, sparking an ugly free-for-all involving players and coaching staff.
Ballymena tried to make their numerical advantage count in the second period but the closest they came was when substitute Alan Davidson’s 25-yard shot squeezed below Rouse but the outside of the post spared the big keeper’s blushes.
At the other end, some touchline trickery from Chris Curran teed up Liam Martin but the sub blazed wildly over when well placed.
Ballymena also finished the game with 10 men after Mark Surgenor was sent off for a late challenge on Mark McConkey, once again prompting a brief spat between the two dugouts.
Ballymena United: Nelson, Kane, Taylor (sub Rodgers 49), Stewart, Black, Taggart (sub A Davidson 63), Surgenor, Thompson, Cushley, J Davidson, Teggart (sub McCabe 75). Subs (not used): Ruddy, Lowry.
Ballinamallard United: Rouse, McConkey (sub Hill 88), Carters, Stafford, Keohane, Curran, Hutchinson, McKenna, McCartney, Feeney (sub Martin 46), Campbell (sub O’Grady 74). Subs (not used): Crawford, McGrath.
Referee: Ian McNabb (Glengormley).