Opinion: United’s worst display of month brings first win

Ballymena United's players celebrate David Cushley's late winner. Picture: Press Eye.

Ballymena United's players celebrate David Cushley's late winner. Picture: Press Eye.

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There was something almost predictable about Ballymena United’s victory over Dungannon at the weekend - no matter how hard it was to watch.

There was plenty of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth about the fact that the Sky Blues had failed to chalk up a point from three largely encouraging performances earlier this month.

So it was no great surprise that when United produced a display that was not so much in the same book as the previous three, never mind the same page, that it yielded three points.

Saturday was the sort of match that would have the detractors of Irish League football chittering disapprovingly as theyreach for the remote control -it really was as dour and turgid a game as I can remember for a long time.

It looked for all the world as though the spaking new electronic scoreboard at the Showgrounds would have to wait until the next game to register its first goal - given the goal-laden games that have preceded it, there would have been some irony if the first game using the scoreboard would have finished goal-less.

If ever a goal typified the match it was David Cushley’s scruffy, mis-hit effort which finally bundled its way past Andy Coleman in stoppage time.

Little wonder the winger mused afterwards: “After all the ones I had saved last week, then I score with THAT.”

Ballymena seem to have developed a talent for having players sent off and missing penalties - not two attributes that go hand in hand with attempting to rise up the table.

Saturday’s win with 10 men was an extremely rare occurrence in Ferguson’s time but it’s open to debate whether it can be put down to a perceived discipline problem or an over-zealous approach by referees.