Ballymena United title hopes crushed as they lose 2-1 to Warrenpoint Town

Ballymena United's Jonathan Addis tackles a Warrenpoint player
Ballymena United's Jonathan Addis tackles a Warrenpoint player

Ballymena United 1 Warrenpoint Town 2

Ballymena United's league title ambitions are all but over as they lost 2-1 to Warrenpoint Town at the Showgrounds on Saturday.

United's Adam Lecky celebrates after scoring

United's Adam Lecky celebrates after scoring

Goals from Phillip Donnelly and Hernany Macedo Marques sealed the win for the visitors after Adam Lecky had given the Sky Blues the lead.

But with Linfield nine points clear at the top, United will now be more concerned with keeping second out of the clutches of Crusaders.

Ballymena started well and Steven McCullough rattled the Town post was a rasping drive from the edge of the box with keeper Berraat Turker beaten.

Town hit back and United keeper Ross Glendinning had to be alert to push away a Ciaran O'Connor effort.

The Sky Blues had started well and they took the lead in the 16th minute. Jude Winchester found Lecky and he turned and shot past Turker from the edge of the box for his16th goal of the season.

United skipper Jim Ervin then tried his luck from long range. This time however his effort was just off target.

The visitors had a good chance in the 28th minute. A good move resulted in Seanan Foster heading wide.

A minute later United's Tony Kane curled one just wide from a ball from Andrew McGrory.

It was 1-1 in the 37th minute. After a corner and a number of blocked shots Phillip Donnelly pushed the ball past Glendinning in the United goal.

Five minutes before the break Jude Winchester tried his luck for Ballymena but Turker gathered the effort and the chance was lost.

McGrory was denied a great goal a minute from the break. His shot looked destined for the top corner before Turker produced a stunning save to keep the scores level.

Five minutes after the break United had another chance from a Tony Kane corner. The ball was partially cleared to Ryan Mayse and he blazed just over the bar.

Kane then dragged a shot wide in the 55th minute as United kept looking for their second of the afternoon.

The match lulled for a few minutes as both sides failed to create anything of note as it became a bit of a midfield battle.

Town were nearly awarded a penalty in the 80th minute as Donnelly was brought down just outside the box by Addis.

The free-kick was parried but Hernany Macedo Marques shot home to give Warrenpoint a 2-1 lead and United's title dreams were hanging by a thread.

Ballymena: Glendinning, Kane, Quigley (McGinty73mins), Addis,

Mayse, McCullough, McGrory, Winchester (McMurray 82mins), Ervin, Lecky, Watson.

Subs not used: Williamson, Whiteside, Burns, Nolan, Shevlin.

Warrenpoint Town: Turker, Foster, Hughes, Reilly, Lynch, Scannell, O'Connor (Moan 65mins), Wallace, Donnelly (Kelly 90mins), Marques, Young (Duffy 45mins).

Subs not used:McGrandles, Lynch, Byrne, Magowan.

Referee; Ian McNabb