Irish Premiership: Ballymena United secure comeback 2-1 win over Portadown to end league drought

Shay McCartan
Ballymena players congratulate goalscorer Shay McCartan

Ballymena United ended their run of five straight league defeats with a 2-1 comeback win away to Portadown.

Sam Warde curled a shot into the top corner in the 28th minute but Shay McCartan drilled home a low shot five minutes before the break to equalise.

Ross Redman pounced on a loose ball inside the area to score an 83rd-minute winner against his former club.

Ballymena remain eighth and Portadown 10th, with the Ports having now gone 10 Premiership outings without a victory.

Portadown have yet to win at Shamrock Park this season and that sequence looked likely to continue as Ballymena made a bright start to the match.

Home goalkeeper Jacob Carney, on loan from Manchester United, saved well from Jude Winchester and turned the ball round the post from his own defender Eamon Scannell, while Ryan Waide squandered a glorious chance from close range.

The hosts took the lead against the run of play before the half hour mark when Ben Tilney fed the ball forward and Lee Bonis cushioned the ball into the path of Warde, who fired home.

McCartan's fine individual goal restored parity - the former Northern Ireland international shrugging off Scannell and drilling a low effort across the goalkeeper and into the net for his sixth of the season.

Carney distinguished himself with saves from Andy McGrory's shot, McCartan's fiercely struck drive and Paul McElroy, while Ross Glendinning denied Ben Guy in a one-on-one situation.

The ball fell to ex-Ports player Redman inside the area in the 82nd minute after a goalmouth scramble and he found the net to secure three points for the Sky Blues with his first league goal since September 2018.

The Braidmen have now won six of their last seven meetings with the Ports and will entertain Cliftonville at the Showgrounds in their next match on Tuesday night.

Portadown travel to Ballycastle Road to face in-form Coleraine in three day's time.

Ballymena goalscorer Ross Redman speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsound Extra Time programme:

"The ball dropped lovely to me in the box and I was glad to put it away. It was a relief because of the run we had been on.

"I wasn't thinking about it being against my old club Portadown. The main thing today was we came here and won the game.

"I'm loving it at Ballymena. David has played me in a few different positions but he has made it very simple for me.

"He has been telling me to go out and enjoy my football again and that's what I have been doing."

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