Spoils shared in cracker Boxing Day 'derby'

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Spoils shared in cracker Boxing Day 'derby' thumbnailBallymena United’s Gary Thompson on the attack in the big Boxing Day ‘derby’ at Ballycastle Road. The spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw. WK52034

THE spoils were shared at Ballycastle Road in what was a cracking big Boxing Day 'derby'.
Coleraine went in front through striker Jamie McGonigle but the Sky Blues got the deserved equaliser, Kyle Owens' header being deflected off Aaron Traynor and in past 'keeper Chris Johns.
Kick off was delayed for five minutes as the massive turnout of fans flocked into Ballycastle Road.
With six minutes gone United's Conor McCloskey fired in a shot, low and hard, and 'keeper Johns got down well to save at the base of the post.
At the other end, a minute later, Ciaron Harkin drilled in a shot right into the arms of United 'keeper Ross Glendinning.
An attempted clearance inside his own area by Gareth McConaghie rebounded off striker Johnny McMurray and there was relief from the Coleraine player when it flashed past his own post.
In the 21st minute United midfielder Gary Thompson had a half chance, getting on the end of a McMurray cross from the right and flicking on a header which Johns saved.
Owens almost opened the scoring, smashing in a shot which McConaghie got in the way off to deflect the ball past for a corner.
From the Tony Kane corner kick the big centre half should have got his header on target - but failed to connect cleanly, good chance missed.
Coleraine opened the scoring five minutes before half time.
A kick up field by Glendinning was well won by McConaghie - his header allowing Coleraine to launch a lightning attack which caught United cold.
Striker McGonigle sped for goal before shooting home past the Ballymena 'keeper.
Early in the second half United lost striker McMurray with a shoulder injury, Kevin Braniff replacing him in the 52nd minute.
Ballymena levelled matters two minutes later.
A long throw from McClosley into the box was flicked on by Owens and was defected off Traynor and squirmed into the Coleraine goal.
Coleraine brought on Eoin Bradley for Ian Parkhill and the striker certainly made an impact.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian


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