LINFIELD stretched their lead at the summit to seven points as they spoiled Glenn Ferguson's managerial debut with victory at The Showgrounds.
The Blues moved in front on 11 minutes when Mark McAllister got on the end of a through ball to square it for Peter Thompson to knock home.
But the Sky Blues got back on level terms just six minutes later through skipper Allan Jenkins who finished off a run from midfield to send a left-foot drive beyond Stuart Addis into the bottom corner.
Linfield regained the lead in somewhat fortunate circumstances on 48 minutes when McAllister played a BJ Burns cross into the box which bounced off a couple of players before taking a deflection off the unaware David Munster and past Drummond.
Philip Lowry looked set to add a third for the visitors in the final quarter-of-an-hour only to be thwarted by a perfectly timed Ross Black tackle.
Ballymena United: Drummond, Kane, Black, Stewart, McCutcheon, Jenkins, Carson, Teggart, Surgenor, Baker, Munster subs Taggart (replaced Surgenor 80), Costello (replaced Carson 75), Davidson (replaced Teggart 59), Lowry (not used), Rodgers (not used)
Linfield: Addis, Murphy, Thompson, B.J. Burns, A. Burns, Patterson, Garrett, Ervin, Watson, McAllister, Casement subs Douglas (not used), Gault (replaced Casement 50), Curran (not used), Lowry (replaced Patterson 69), Carvill (not used)
- Winkie Murphy rises above James Costello (Picture: Brian Little/PressEye.com)