Irish Premiership: Glentoran 3-0 Ballymena Utd

Match action from Glentoran's victory over Ballymena at The Oval

Glentoran took a giant step towards securing their place in the top six prior to the Premiership split with a comprehensive win over Ballymena.

An inexperienced Glens team, missing several first-team regulars, took the lead on 31 minutes with a first senior goal from league debutant Danny McKee.

Fra McCaffrey coolly slotted the ball into the back of the net to extend the lead five minutes after the break.

Then Jim O'Hanlon made it 3-0 with a penalty in the 75th minute.

O'Hanlon stepped up to score from the spot after being fouled by former Glens defender Johnny Taylor inside the area.

Manager Eddie Patterson was forced to select a youthful side because of a number of injuries and suspensions in his squad, with John McGuigan being left out after being arrested in connection with drugs offences last weekend.

The Oval boss also opted to rest Jordan Stewart and Curtis Allen with Monday night's Irish Cup quarter-final against Glenavon in mind.

Ballymena had the best of the early chances, but another ex-Glens player, Darren Boyce, headed just over from David Cushley's delivery.

With the visiting defence waiting for an offside flag which never came, McKee rounded Aaron Shanahan and planted the ball in the back of the net for the opener just after the half hour mark.

The second-half goals from McCaffrey and O'Hanlon made the points safe and delivered a major blow to their opponents' hopes of finishing in the top six for the first time since the league split was introduced.