Ballymena United make it three wins on the bounce
Ballymena United made it three wins on the bounce with a 2-0 win over Carrick Rangers at The Showgrounds.
Goals in either half from Paul McElroy and Kofi Balmer sealed the win for the Sky Blues, who also secured a third clean sheet on the spin.
The win moves David Jeffrey’s men up to fifth in the Danske Bank Premiership while Carrick remain just ahead of Portadown on goal difference at the foot of the table.
Both sides had chances early on as Kofi Balmer headed over from a corner for the hosts while at the other end Reece Neale’s shot was gathered by Jordan Williamson.
It was the Sky Blues who edged in front on 20 minutes as Paul McElroy fired home from the spot after Evan Boyce had awarded them a penalty.
They almost doubled their advantage on the half hour after a fantastic run by Shay McCartan. He weaved his way past five men before having his shot saved by Aaron Hogg.
The keeper reacted well to payy away McElroy’s follow up.
The visitors had a chance on 39 minutes as Lloyd broke free but Williamson was off his line smartly to smother the ball.
The home side started the second half off strongly with McCartan almost teeing up Ross Redman before the ball was cleared away.
McCartan then tried his luck from distance after a short free kick by Redman, but it flew wide of the target.
A second goal did arrive before the midway point of the second half as defender Balmer was on hand to finish from close range.
Two minutes later it took a brilliant save from Hogg to deny McCartan.
Caolan Loughran forced Williamson into action from a free kick with 20 minutes to go as Carrick looked for a way back.
Five minutes later Hogg produced another great stop to deny Redman’s long range strike.