Linfield get back to winning ways with victory against Ballymena United


LINFIELD got back to winning ways in the Danske Bank Premiership with a 2-1 victory over Ballymena United at Windsor Park on Saturday.

Goals from Nathan Hanley and Gary Browne - who converted a 45th-minute penalty - helped seal three points for the Blues.

Aaron Stewart got a late reply for Ballymena in what was a dress rehearsal for Tuesday’s County Antrim Shield final between the sides.

After a dull start the game came to life in the 26th minute with Hanley’s opener.

Michael Gault surged down the left before crossing for the former Ballymena midfielder to fire home with a first-time shot.

It was 2-0 to Linfield on the stroke of half-time.

Gary Thompson brought down Browne inside the box with referee Andrew Davey showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Browne dusted himself down to hammer the resulting spot-kick past Stuart Addis.

Ballymena were back in the game in the 79th minute, with Stewart hammering home a low shot after Linfield failed to clear David Cushley’s corner.

But Linfield held on for the win which moves them into the top half of the table.

LINFIELD: Blayney, Armstrong, Gault, Murphy, Lowry, Carvill, Burns (Garrett 91), Hanley (Thompson 80), Fordyce (McCaul 61), Browne, Black.

Subs not used: Curran, Watson.

BALLYMENA: Addis, Kane, Munster, Stewart, Black, Taggart (Rodgers 35), Thompson, A. Davidson (J. Davidson 46), Bingham (Lowry 75), Costello, Cushley.

Subs not used: Vauls, McCabe.

Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor)