Ballymena United see off Ballinamallard United at the Showgrounds

ON TARGET: Ballymena United's Shane Dolan
ON TARGET: Ballymena United's Shane Dolan

Ballymena United halted a run of seven Danske Bank Premiership games without a win with a comprehensive victory over Ballinamallard at the Showgrounds.

New signing Shane Dolan marked an impressive debut for the Sky Blues with a goal as United made a welcome return to form after a wretched run of results.

Ballymena made a blistering start with a goal after just 67 seconds.

Peter Duffin, making his full debut after an impressive cameo gainst Lisburn Distillery last Saturday forced a corner on the right hand side and Ally Teggart’s inswinging corner was met with a firm near post header by defender Chris Rodgers.

The visitors came close to an equaliser on 37 minutes when a slip by Rodgers let in Kee but Nelson was quickly off his line to block the midfielder’s shot.

Ballymena came within a whisker of going two ahead three minutes before the break when skipper Allan Jenkins charged down a clearance and then released David Cushley, who dinked the ball over the advancing keeper but as the ball rolled goalwards, Ballinamallard defender Leon Carters performed heroics to race back and hook the ball off the goal-line.

But the reprieve was short-lived for the visitors as less than 60 seconds later, United did go 2-0 up thanks to a tremendous piece of skill from debutant Dolan who collected a pass and neatly side-stepped two defenders before slipping the ball past Rouse and into the net via the inside of the post.

Dolan was once again in the action at the start of the second half when his smart turn and shot produced a brilliant save from Rouse but once again, the visitors failed to make the most of the let-off.

From Teggart’s resultant corner, the ball was half-cleared to David Cushley 25 yards from goal and the winger’s shot was diverted past Rouse by Davy Munster.

Ballinamallard, to their credit, never threw in the towel but all they could muster was a number of shots from distance which Nelson saved with ease.

B’mena U: Nelson, Kane, Rodgers, Munster, Black, Thompson, Jenkins, Duffin (sub Bingham 56), Teggart (sub Surgenor 70), Cushley, Dolan (sub McCabe 77). Subs (not used): Vauls, Gillan.

B’mallard U: Rouse, Hill, Carters, Stafford, Keohane, Curran, Kee, McKenna, O’Grady (sub Martin 46), Crawford (sub Sheridan 46), Campbell. Subs (not used): Liggett, McGrath, Cashel.

Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown).