Weakened Toon side are downed by Wakehurst

ON IT'S WAY. United player Daniel Laverty (15) fires home his side's opening goal during their game with Wakehurst on Saturday.INBM9-12 022SC.

ON IT'S WAY. United player Daniel Laverty (15) fires home his side's opening goal during their game with Wakehurst on Saturday.INBM9-12 022SC.

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A hugely-weakened Ballymoney United side were downed 2-3 at home to Wakehurst on Saturday.

United had to cope with as many as seven first-team players out through injury and illness.

Manager Paul Gaston was also without four key players through suspension after they were sent off at Ballyclare Comrades.

Only two players made the line-up from the side which beat Bangor in the Irish Cup in January.

United have suffered a poor run of form, including a 1-6 thrashing at home in the Irish Cup to Newry.

The Toon now sit in 13th spot in the Championship Two.

This weekend they will look to pick up much-needed points against fellow strugglers Armagh City who are 12th.

On Saturday Wakehurst got their first league win of the year at the Riada Stadium.

Mid-table Wakehurst were stunned early in the game when Ballymoney went ahead in their first attack on 12 minutes when a poorly defended throw in allowed Daniel Laverty in to give Ballymoney an early lead.

On 18 minutes, Wakehurst should have equalised when Stephen McIlroy put Ryan Young in with a good pass. The Ballymoney keeper couldn’t hold Young’s shot but fortunately for them their centre back came to the rescue and cleared off the line.

On 35 minutes, Wakehurst got the equaliser their possession deserved when Jason Paul finished off a Conor Gregg shot which the keeper could only parry away and it was all square.

Ballymoney had the first chance of the second half but hit the side netting.

On 60 minutes Wakehurst went ahead for the first time when Conor Gregg got the slightest of touches on a Lee McCaughern free kick to put the ball beyond the reach of the keeper to make it 2-1.

Unfortunately for Wakehurst, on 72 minutes, David Gage, in an attempt to clear the danger, headed into his own net to make it 2-2.

Wakehurst got the winner they deserved on 87 minutes when a Lee McCaughern free kick ended up in the net completely deceiving the Ballymoney keeper and defence.