Champions Cliftonville regained the top spot in the Irish Premiership as Joe Gormley's early goal proved the match winner at Ballymena Showgrounds.
Gormley lobbed United keeper Dwayne Nelson after beating the home defence to Conor Devlin's long clearance.
After the break Gormley missed a glaring opportunity when he fluffed what looked like a far-post trap-in.
Ballymena then had Aaron Stewart sent-off when his foul on Ciaran Caldwell brought him a second yellow card.
The win sends Cliftonville clear at the top, and their total of 12 points is actually won better than they had after six games last season.
They had started level on points with Ballymena, as well as Glentoran who crashed at home to Crusaders.
Ballymena, were never out of the contest but the 75th-minute dismissal of Stewart took the momentum out of their attempts to find an equaliser.
United's best chance probably fell to Ally Teggart, but he shot wide from a brilliant position after Tony Kane's shot had been deflected into his path.