Wednesday, 23 August 2017
Glentoran Belfast United were visitors to the Showgrounds in Ballymena United Allstars’ last home game of the season.
The visitors were immediately out of the blocks, winning a corner from a blistering run down the right hand side by Ali McMaster. Eimhear O’Prey was completely unmarked in the box, turning the ball in from Sam Kelly’s inch perfect delivery to open the scoring within the first 90 seconds of the match.
Ballymena had an almost immediate opportunity to break back, with a nice one-two between Michelle McDonald and Caitlin Berry in the middle of the park, but McDonald’s through ball to the Rebecca Boyce was just too far in front of the forward.
As the weather deteriorated with heavy rain falling at the Showgrounds, Glentoran began to dominate the game and doubled their advantage on 11 minutes when Ballymena failed to clear to passes down the right, leaving the ball to fall to Rebecca McKenna who calmly slotted home.
On 23 minutes, Sam Kelly made it 3-0 with a curling effort from just inside the box, on the left.
As the blinding rain cleared, Ballymena began to find their rhythm and their defensive line improved significantly, catching the Glens in the ofifside trap on a number of occasions and goalkeeper, Zoe Cummings, making a number of good saves.
A much more even beginning to the second half saw the Ballymena backline remain resolute in the face on significant Glentoran pressure. The Sky Blues would see the visitors ruled offside on 10 occasions by the end of the match.
An injury to Ballymena taliswoman Rebekah Reynolds on 63 minutes, forcing her off, disrupted the defensive rhythm and Glentoran made it four two minutes later. Rebecca McKenna played the ball from the right across the face of the goal, leaving Rachel Rogan with a simple tap in.
The Sky Blues persevered despite an attacking onslaught from the Glens, but the dominance of the visitors finally told in the last five minutes, with three quick goals.
Nadene Caldwell scored the pick of the goals of the night with a sweet strike from just outside the box, sending the ball curling beautifully into the top right corner.
Annie Timoney added her name to the score sheet on 87 minutes, heading home a close range effort following a cross from the fruitful right hand side.
Caldwell got her second and Glentoran’s seventh with the final touch of the game, meeting another Sam Kelly corner and making no mistake with the powerful header.
Ballymena United All Stars: Cummings, Haley, Reynolds, McIntosh, Henderson, R. Smyth, Young, A. Smyth, Boyce, McDonald, Berry subs Daley (replaced Cummings 46), McCartney (replaced Reynolds 59), Stevenson (not used)
Glentoran Belfast United: McKinnon, Oprey, Timoney, Eddis, Foy, Caldwell, McKenna, Taggart, Rogan, Kelly, McMaster subs Gamble (replaced McKenna 65), White (replaced McMaster 46), Andrews (replaced Taggart 54)
Referee: Simon MacKay