Ballymoney travelled to Moyola Park with both sides keen to grab all three points in this Mill Meadow clash.
United were seeking their first league victory of the season and Moyola Park having had a cracking start to the league campaign sought to end a six game run without a victory.
It was the home side who earned the points in what was a proverbial game of two halves. Eugene Gallagher tested United’s keeper Bryan Moore in the opening minute. Moyola Park took the game to the visitors in the early stages. An Aaron Wilkinson shot on 18 minutes was held by Moore and minutes later Gray provided the pass for Chris Dowie whose effort was stopped by the impressive Moore.
Ryan Stewart had a shot on target for the visitors on 25 minutes which was easily taken by Marty Farniok. Moyola Park, despite dominating possession, found the Ballymoney defence difficult to penetrate. Craig McAllister’s free kick after 36 minutes was easily taken by Moore. Gray broke the deadlock two minutes before the halftime interval with a cracking shot from just outside the penalty area which shook the visitors’ net.
Ballymoney were much more forceful in the second half. Wilkinson had an opportunity to double the home sides’s tally in the early minutes of the second half but Moore comfortably saved.
Daniel Brown shot straight at Farniok as the visitors began to threaten the Moyola Park goal and Stewart’s goal attempt went wide. Farniok ensured that Moyola Park took all three points at stake when cat-like he turned a rasping effort by Francis McKenna from all of 40 yards round his right hand upright.
On Saturday Ballymoney United are at home to mid-table Dollingstown with a 3pm kick-off
Moyola Park: Marty Farniok, Craig McAllister, Darren Walls, Steven McQuillan, Steven Kelly, Mark Waddell, Robert Lucas (Connor Barrow), Eugene Gallagher, Chris Dowie, Aaron Wilkinson (Conor Taggart), Adam Gray. Substitutes not used: Kyle Bradley, Gareth Stewart, Stephen Doey
Ballymoney United: Bryan Moore, Francis McKenna, Jonathan Cutler, Jordan Craig, Hugh Og Boyle, Lee McClelland, David McVicker, Mark McKane, Ryan Stewart, Daniel Brown, Mark Dickson Substitutes: Mark Dempsey, Karl Steele, Clive Bradley, Jamie Hanna