Shay McCartan on song in Ballymena United romp
Ballymena United moved up to fifth in the table with a comprehensive win over Cliftonville at Solitude.
Shay McCartan was the star of the show as he scored in either half with Paul McElroy and Leroy Millar completing the scoring for David Jeffrey’s men.
The Reds fell behind early on and never recovered on the night as Ballymena put them to the sword.
The Sky Blues picked up their first win in four on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Warrenpoint Town, and they made a fast start at Solitude taking the lead inside the opening ten minutes.
McCartan picked the ball up outside the Reds penalty area, held off Ronan Doherty before lashing a shot past Richard Brush from 20 yards.
The hosts gradually started to find their feet as they probed for an equaliser against the Sky Blues.
Chances though were proving hard to come by for both teams though as the game edged towards half time.
And that’s how it stayed as they sides went in at half time with David Jeffrey’s side in the lead.
Things got even better for the visitors as they increased their advantage with a goal right at the start of the second half.
The impressive McCartan was causing more problems for the Reds as he surged into the box past several defenders.
He scuffed his shot but there was a melee in the box causing Garry Breen to make a rash challenge on Paul McElroy resulting in a penalty for Ballymena.
The former Crusaders front man stepped up to fire home from the spot.
The Sky Blues all but wrapped up the points minutes later as that man McCartan found the net again.
This time he clipped home a free kick giving Brush no chance.
With any hope of a Reds comeback on the cards the game largely petered out as the second half progressed.
But Ballymena had one final say just before the end as Leroy Millar added a fourth late on to complete a fantastic night for the visitors at Solitude.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Irish and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.