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

Uploaded Wednesday, 16th Nov, 2016 at 21:53

Date: Wednesday, 16th November, 2016; Competition: Northern Ireland League Cup - Quarter-Final; Attendance: N/A;
Warrenpoint Town [0] [0]
Ballymena United [0] [2]
Venue: Milltown Playing Fields; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Keith Kennedy; Assistant 1: Stephen Donaldson; Assistant 2: Kristian Hanna; 4th Official: Peter McGrath;
[0-1] FAULKNER, Willie (69 mins), [0-2] FRIEL, Cathair (75 mins)

BALLYMENA United secured a berth in the quarter-finals of the Northern Ireland League Cup, defeating Warrenpoint Town 2-0 at Milltown Playing Fields tonight.
With only 1 minute on the clock, Cathair Friel broke down the right and flashed the ball across the face of goal, but nobody was able to touch it in. Warrenpoint Town had a lot of the play in the opening minutes, but it was United who looked more dangerous, Darren Henderson nearly forcing a chance after closing down a hesitant clearance from goalkeeper Johnny Parr. A minute later Daniel Wallace fired in a dangerous cross but Parr smothered it, then a Tony Kane cross fell to Henderson at the back post but his half-volley was tipped around the post. As United continued to press, Willie Faulkner's low cross was taken off the foot of Henderson by the home defence.
Just before the quarter-hour mark Ross Glendinning was forced to punch clear from a 'point attack. It was a tight encounter between the sides, and the 29th minute was reached before another chance fell to Friel who dragged his snapshot wide. At the other end Darren King sent an ambitious shot towards goal but it was too high and went over the bar. Liam Bagnall, was shown a straight red card in the 38th minute for a lunging tackle on Jim Ervin, taking Warrenpoint Town down to 10 men. As the half time break approached Friel headed wide of the goal from a Tony Kane corner. In the 44th minute the home side showed they were still dangerous, with Conor McMenamin popping up at the back post and nearly turning in the opening goal.
The first chance of the second half fell to Eoin Kane in the 48th minute but he failed to hit the target. 5 minutes later United were caught napping when Kyle Owens was dispossessed by McMenamin who shot wide from close range. In the 56th minute Glendinning was forced into a smart save as the home side upped the tempo. David Jeffrey made his first change of the game just before the hour mark, bringing on Leroy Millar to replace Eoin Kane. Millar had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 68th minute but drilled his effort wide. A minute later United were ahead, Willie Faulkner firing through the legs of Warrenpoint keeper Parr and into the net.
Willie Faulkner opened the scoring in the 69th minute
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It didn't take long for the Sky Blues to double their lead, Cathair Friel adding to his already impressive goal tally for the season with a simple tap in on 75 minutes.
Cathair Friel grabbed the second goal in the 75th minute
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In the 80th minute Faulkner nearly doubled his lead but his effort was cleared off the line by Stephen Moane. With 5 minutes left in the game, Matthew Shevlin came on for his 3rd appearance of the season, replacing Darren Henderson. With 88 minutes gone Friel tried his luck with a long range shot but missed the goal. United made their last substitution of the game in the last minute, Kyle Mackie making his first appearance of the season and Cathair Friel coming off.
The draw for the semi-finals will take place at around 2:30pm on Radio Ulster Sportsound on Saturday.
Ballymena United host Dungannon Swifts in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Paul Irwin
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane, Kyle Owens ( 66), Darren Henderson ( Matthew Shevlin 85), Allan Jenkins ( 31), Willie Faulkner, Cathair Friel ( Kyle Mackie 89), Eoin Kane ( Leroy Millar 59), Daniel Wallace, Jim Ervin, Caolan Loughran.

Subs not used: Kyle McVey, Ben McCauley.