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Cliftonville Match Preview
Uploaded Friday, 6th Jan, 2017 at 16:35

BALLYMENA United host Cliftonville in the fifth round of the Tennent's Irish Cup at the Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon.
The last time the teams met was in November when the North Belfast side ran out 2-0 winners at Solitude with goals from James Knowles and Jude Winchester. The last Irish Cup game between United and Cliftonville was at Solitude in the sixth round of the 2014/15 season when the Sky Blues won 2-1 with David Cushley goals in the 90th and 94th minutes.
Recent results v Cliftonville
Cliftonville 2-0 Ballymena United, Solitude, 26th November 2016. Att: 1062
Ballymena United 3-2 Cliftonville, Ballymena Showgrounds, 10th September 2016. Att: 1019
Ballymena United 2-2 Cliftonville, Ballymena Showgrounds, 2nd April 2016. Att: 921
Cliftonville 4-2 Ballymena United, Solitude, 4th December 2015. Att: 1023
Ballymena United 6-1 Cliftonville, Ballymena Showgrounds, 12th September 2015. Att: 1023
Cliftonville Irish Cup Record
Cliftonville last won the Irish Cup in 1979 with a 3-2 victory over Portadown.

Their record over the past few years reads as follows: -

  • 2015/16 - lost 3-0 to Linfield at Windsor Park in the quarter-final
  • 2014/15 - lost 2-1 to Ballymena United at Solitude in the 6th round
  • 2013/14 - lost 4-3 after extra-time in a replay against Coleraine at Solitude in the 5th round
  • 2012/13 - lost 3-1 to Glentoran after extra-time in the final at Windsor Park
  • Ballymena United Irish Cup Record
    Ballymena United last won the Irish Cup in 1989 with a 1-0 win over Larne thanks to a late Paul Hardy goal.

    Their record over the past few years reads as follows: -

  • 2015/16 - lost 2-1 to Linfield after extra-time at Windsor Park in the 5th round
  • 2014/15 - lost 3-1 to Portadown at The Oval in the semi-final
  • 2013/14 - lost 2-1 to Glenavon at Windsor Park in the final
  • 2012/13 - lost 3-2 to Coleraine at Ballymena Showgrounds in the 6th round
  • Cliftonville:
    Since the win over United in November Cliftonville have won 3, drawn 2 and lost 1 game, and sit 7 points ahead of Ballymena in the table. Their last game was on Tuesday night when they drew 0-0 with Carrick Rangers at Solitude. On Thursday night defender Paul Finnegan, who has spent the past season with Bray Wanderers, signed for Cliftonville.
    Ballymena United:
    In the same period United have Won 3 and lost 3 in the league, and also beat Coleraine to reach the final of the Northern Ireland League Cup. On Tuesday night United let a two goal lead over Glenavon slip and ended up on the wrong side of a 4-3 scoreline at Ballymena Showgrounds.
    Match Officials:
    Referee: Raymond Crangle. Assistant 1: Andrew Neeson. Assistant 2: Paul Berry. 4th Official: Hugh Carvill.
    Match Information:
    Admission is payable at the gate.

    Kick off is 3:00pm.

    If the game is level after 90 minutes, 30 minutes of extra-time will be played, followed by a penalty shoot-out if necessary.
    Despite losing to Cliftonville in November, United have already beaten them at the Showgrounds this season, coming out 3-2 winners in September. Can the Sky Blues bounce back from 2 defeats in a row and reach the sixth round of the cup? Come down to the Showgrounds and cheer on the team as they try to get their first win of 2017!
    Match Preview by Paul Irwin