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Saturday 7th July v. HW Welders (away) - Friendly - k.o: TBC

Uploaded Tuesday, 20th Sep, 2016 at 21:48

Date: Tuesday, 20th September, 2016; Competition: Toals Co Antrim Shield - Round 1; Attendance: N/A;
Ballymena United [1] [3]
HW Welders [0] [0]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Steven Gregg; Assistant 1: Andrew Butler; Assistant 2: Alistair Suttie;
[1-0] KANE, Tony (pen 25 mins), [2-0] McMURRAY, Johnny (62 mins), [3-0] FRIEL, Cathair (75 mins)

BALLYMENA United eased through the first round of the Toals Co Antrim Shield with a win over Harland & Wolff Welders tonight.
There were no clear cut chances in the opening minutes of the game, and it was a real midfield battle, the first chance falling to Willie Faulkner, who drew the save from Welders keeper Samuel Johnston after 10 minutes. 5 minutes later Tony Kane sent a free kick from the left side of the box well wide of the target. Midway through the first half the Welders went close with an effort which was deflected over the bar, then United had to clear the ball off the line from the corner.
The Sky Blues were awarded a penalty in the 25th minute after Johnston had taken down Cathair Friel, Tony Kane stepping up to fire it low and give United the lead.
Tony Kane opened the scoring with his 5th converted penalty of the season
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As the half time break approached Faulkner had another good chance, but his volley was well saved.
United started the second half as they had finished the first, Faulkner seeing an effort blocked and the resultant corner cleared. On 54 minutes Kyle Owens' header went closer to the corner flag than the net.
Allan Jenkins came on to replace Leroy Millar on the hour mark, and almost immediately had a header brilliantly saved, but Johnny McMurray was on hand to put the rebound into the net. It was almost another when McMurray swivelled to shoot, but his effort was just wide, then Jenkins shot and hit the post, the ball trickling out of play. With 15 minutes left Friel pounced on a poor back past from Gary Spence and calmly slotted home to extend the lead to 3-0.
Cathair Friel scored the 3rd goal of the game
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Friel had another great chance to score 2 minutes later, but Welders keeper Johnston, who was in fine form all night, made another excellent save.
United will be delighted to have overcome a difficult Welders side to secure passage to the quarter-finals of the Toals County Antrim Shield with another clean sheet for Alan Blayney.

The draw for the next round takes place this Saturday on Radio Ulster at 5:30pm.
Ballymena United host Glentoran in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Paul Irwin
Ballymena United Team:
Alan Blayney, Tony Kane ( 78 Eoin Kane 80), Kyle Owens, Gary Thompson, Willie Faulkner, Cathair Friel ( Fra McCaffrey 83), Daniel Wallace, Jim Ervin, Leroy Millar ( Allan Jenkins 60), Johnny McMurray, Caolan Loughran.

Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Johnny Flynn.