Ballymena bounce back from cup exit to claim 3-1 win at Ferney Park

Ballymena celebrate Neal Gawley's goal to take a 2-1 lead
Ballymena celebrate Neal Gawley's goal to take a 2-1 lead

BALLINAMALLARD 1 BALLYMENA 3

Ballymena United claimed a 3-1 win at Ferney Park to keep up their pursuit of Coleraine in the Danske Bank Premiership.

Goals from Mark Surgenor, Neal Gawley and Matthew Tipton saw the Sky Blues ease to victory – Liam Martin bagged Ballinamallard’s only reply.

Ballymena were set on their way by Surgenor after just four minutes, the midfielder collecting a ball from the left flank before unleashing an unstoppable effort from 25 yards which had keeper Stefan McCusker beaten and went in off the underside of the crossbar.

The Ferney Park side levelled after 40 minutes when the ball broke to Martin in the six yard box following a corner. The nippy striker turned beautifully to shoot home past keeper Tim Allen.

But It was Ballymena who controlled the second half with Gawley curling a beautiful free-kick just inside the near post after 69 minutes.

And Tipton finished the scoring off on 91 minutes when he broke from a Ballinamallard attack to chip keeper McCusker from the edge of the penalty area.

Ballinamallard: McCusker, McMenamin, Stafford, Kee, Martin, Lafferty, McCartney, McKenna (Courtney 75), Campbell (Hutchinson 64), Crilly, McLoughlin

Subs A Murphy, Carters, Hutchinson Phair, Courtney

Ballymena: Allen, Kane, Irvin, Taylor, McBride, Gawley, Thompson, Surgenor (Jenkins 80), Teggart, Boyce, Cushley (Tipton 73)

Subs: Jenkins, Tipton, McCaul, McAllister, McCutcheon

Referee: Steven Gregg