Ballymena United stay top after six goal thriller against Coleraine at the Showgrounds

Ballymena United 3 Coleraine 3

Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 4:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:55 am
Coleraine player sent-off at Showgrounds
Coleraine player sent-off at Showgrounds

Ballymena United made it 18 games unbeaten in a row as they stayed top of the Danske Bank Premiership table after a 3-3 draw with Coleraine at the Showgrounds.

It was a game that had everything - six goals, a red card and a packed ground with both side being fantastically supported by their fans.

It was the visitors who took the lead in the 10th minute through Stephen Lowry. It was the midfielders seventh goal of the season and the league leaders were a goal behind.

United drew level in the 15th minute as striker Cathar Friel scored from the penalty spot.

The Bannsiders made it 2-1 in the 28th minute as James McLaughlin fired home with a half volley to restore his side's advantage.

Both sides huffed and puffed before the break but neither could add to their account.

Coleraine's day was not helped as McLaughlin was sent-off after picking up his second yellow of the day after a foul on Jim Ervin in the 49th minute.

It was 3-1 for the Bannsiders in the 65th minute as Ian Parkhill shot home from the edge of the box and the ten man had extended their lead much to the joy of the Coleraine support.

It was 3-2 in the 67th minute as Andrew Burns finished off a Stephen McCullough corner.

Coleraine keeper Chris Johns then made a great save to deny United sub Jonathan McMurray and the chance was lost.

In the 77th minute United's Leroy Millar found Ryan Mayse who shot straight at keeper Johns.

Ballymena were upping the pressure and the tempo were defending well with their ten men.

In the 82nd minute keeper Johns made a good save to deny Friel but the pressure was mounting.

The Bannsiders keeper again denied United on the 85th minute as the home side pushed for the equaliser.

It was 3-3 in the 90th minute as McMurray fired home after a throw-in had been half cleared by the Coleraine defence.

Johns came to his side's rescue a miute later as he made a flying save to deny a rasping drive from Mayse,