IRISH LEAGUE: Kerr aims to kick on after surprise debut goal

Ballymena United  Michael Kerr  celebrates scoring against Portadown on Saturday
Ballymena United Michael Kerr celebrates scoring against Portadown on Saturday

Ballymena United defender Michael Kerr had a debut to remember as his goal helped the Sky Blues to a 3-0 win against Portadown at the Showgrounds.

The 19 year old student opened United’s account in the 50th minute before Johnny Flynn and Tony Kane added to United’s account.

Kerr was delighted to get his United career up and running.

“I got the chance there from the manager and he let me know on the morning of the match that I will be starting,” he said.

“I was just looking to do my best for the team, get the right result but I never thought I would score on my debut.

“I am just pleased to make my dubut and that the team won.”

And what did the teenager remember about his goal.

“I was just supporting the wing back and then the ball came to me right in front of the goal and I couldn’t miss.

“It was great to get the win after the disappointment of last weekend in the Irish Cup Coleraine.

“We wanted to bounce back from that and we did. We now want to push on in the league and see how high we can finish,” added the defender.

Portadown had the first chance in the 37th minute as Robert Garrett had an opening. His shot however was well saved by Tim Allen in the United goal.

Kane tried his luck for the home side just before the break.

The midfielder’s curling shot beating Jack Duffin in the Ports goal but not the post and the first half ended scoreless.

Five minutes after the break United made the breakthrough young defender Kerr.

The right-back touching home a pass from McMurray.

It was 2-0 in the 59th minute as Flynn headed in a corner from Kane. It was a good finish from the big defender.

The Ports were then reduced to ten man as Oman was shown a straight red card in the 62nd minute after an off the ball incident in the United box.

It was the last thing Portadown manager Niall Currie needed with is side trailing 2-0.

Flynn had another chance in the 71st minute - but Duffin did well to save the effort from the defender.

It was 3-0 in the 76th minute as Kane scored from the penalty spot after Joe McKinney had been pulled down by Ports keeper Duffin.

And Poradown manager Currie was gutted by the way his team crumbled after they conceded the opening goal - even though they were not helped by the sending-off of Ken Oman in the second half.

“You come in at half-time and everthing is fine and we were nice and compact - but once we concede a goal we fall apart.

“I told them at at the end if you don’t have back bone, you have nothing.

“It is your response after you concede a goal and we have been poor.”

Ballymena: Allen, Kane (Jenkins 77mins), Flynn, Thompson, Faulkner (McCloskey 82mins), Ervin, Millar, Braniff, McKinney, McMurray (Friel 88mins), Kerr.

Subs not used: Glendinning, Loughran.

Portadown: Duffin, Shannon, Oman, Lyttle, McGerrigan, Henderson, Garrett (Megaw 88mins), Mackle, Hazley, S Hughes (Foley 66mins), McAllister (Soares 58mins).

Subs not used: L Hughes, Holmes.

Referee: Steven Gregg.