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Saturday 28th April v. Crusaders (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Tuesday, 30th Aug, 2016 at 22:06

Date: Tuesday, 30th August, 2016; Competition: Northern Ireland League Cup - Round 2; Attendance: N/A;
Ballymena United [1] [4]
Newington YC [1] [1]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Tony Clarke; Assistant 1: Stephen Bell; Assistant 2: Joseph Wilson;
[0-1] McFALL, Chris (23 mins), [1-1] FRIEL, Cathair (30 mins), [2-1] JENKINS, Allan (47 mins), [3-1] KANE, Tony (pen 50 mins), [4-1] McMURRAY, Johnny (85 mins)

BALLYMENA United progressed to the third round of the Northern Ireland League Cup tonight with a 4-1 win over Newington YC.
Tony Kane had a shot deflected away from goal in the opening minute of the game tonight, resulting in a corner. Kane took the corner and it was flicked on by Allan Jenkins but nobody could reach it and it went out for a goal kick. A long throw from Conor McCloskey ended with a shot by Leroy Millar which was deflected out of play, and moments later Millar hit a shot on the volley but it went narrowly over the bar.
Newington had their first chance with 13 minutes on the clock but Gary Rafferty couldn't get any power behind his shot and it didn't trouble Alan Blayney. On 19 minutes Cathair Friel made a good run and found Johnny McMurray who passed to Danny Wallace, his shot tamely going straight to Newington keeper Dean Smith. Newington broke the deadlock on 23 minutes after breaking away from the back and Chris McFall ran clear and finished easily past Blayney. United were back on level terms in the 30th minute as a cross from McMurray was headed home by Friel.
Cathair Friel headed the equaliser for United
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Newington showed plenty of endeavour and were growing in confidence as the half went on, and the United defence looked shaky. In the last minute of the first half Tony Kane took a shot from a free kick but it was too high and flew over the bar.
United were ahead within a minute of the restart, McMurray cutting the ball back and Jenkins firing the ball home from 6 yards. 5 minutes later the Sky Blues were 2 in front after Tony Kane scored from the penalty spot.
Tony Kane grabbed the third goal for the Sky Blues from the penalty spot
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The home side were on fire in the early stages of the second half, almost scoring a fourth moments later as a cross from McCloskey was just too far in front of Friel. A chance fell for McCloskey after some great play by Wallace, but it was put behind for a corner which resulted in Newington clearing the ball off the line.
David Jeffrey brought on Willie Faulkner to replace Leroy Millar in the 68th minute, and Gary Thompson for Tony Kane in the 75th minute. Newington player Conal Burns was sent off by referee Tony Clarke with 12 minutes left on the clock for a terrible challenge from behind on Loughran.
Moments later Conor McCloskey made a fantastic run from the right side and it looked to be a certain goal, but he somehow managed to miss the target. With 5 minutes left Friel broke the offside trap and unselfishly squared the ball to McMurray to tap in and seal the victory.
After the game David Jeffrey said "It was only in the latter stages it became comfortable, and these are very difficult games to play. Only if you've managed and played do you understand how difficult they are because on a night like tonight Newington have absolutely nothing to lose and to be very fair to them they worked their socks off all over the pitch."
Ballymena United travel to Stangmore Park on Saturday afternoon to face Dungannon Swifts in the Danske Bank Premiership, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Paul Irwin
Ballymena United Team:
Alan Blayney, Tony Kane ( Gary Thompson 75), Kyle Owens, Allan Jenkins, Conor McCloskey, Cathair Friel ( Fra McCaffrey 87), Danny Wallace, Jim Ervin, Leroy Millar ( Willie Faulkner 68), Johnny McMurray, Caolan Loughran.

Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Matthew Shevlin.