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Saturday 26th August v. Linfield (away) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Saturday, 7th Jan, 2017 at 20:13

Date: Saturday, 7th January, 2017; Competition: Tennent's Irish Cup - Round 5; Attendance: N/A;
Ballymena United [1] [1] AET 1 Pens 4
Cliftonville [1] [1] AET 1 Pens 3
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Raymond Crangle; Assistant 1: Andrew Neeson; Assistant 2: Paul Berry; 4th Official: Hugh Carvill;
Goals:
[1-0] KANE, Tony (4 mins), [1-1] LAVERY, Ross (37 mins)
Pens:
[0-1] McDAID, David, [1-1] MILLAR, Leroy, [2-1] FRIEL, Cathair, [2-2] DONNELLY, Jay, [3-2] KANE, Tony, [3-3] McNICHOLL, Tiarnan pen, [4-3] JENKINS, Allan

BALLYMENA United booked their place in the sixth round of the Tennent's Irish Cup after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Cliftonville.
The supporters were in fine form before the game
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United got off to the perfect start when Tony Kane put them in front just 4 minutes in. Johnny McMurray was hacked down 20 yards out and Kane stepped up. His inch perfect free kick found the top corner of the Cliftonville goal to give Ballymena the lead.
Tony Kane scored the opening goal from a free kick...
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...and celebrated in style!
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Cliftonville couldn't have went closer to an equaliser on 13 minutes when Tomas Cosgrove found Ross Lavery, who could've done better as his effort came off the post. Ballymena had the better of the chances in the opening 30 minutes, with Leroy Millar going close with a header and McMurray almost hitting the target from all of 30 yards.
Managers David Jeffrey and Gerard Lyttle watch on
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On 36 minutes Ballymena were handed the perfect chance to double their lead when a stray back pass had Burke scrambling, and the 'keeper brought McMurray down to concede a penalty. However, Kane's stunning perfect record from the spot came to an end as Burke made up for his foul with a good save.
The away side made United pay instantly as one minute later, Cliftonville equalised. A cross from Daniel Hughes was met by the head of Ross Lavery and despite Glendinning's best efforts, the ball crossed the line for 1-1.
The second half got off to a rather slow start with the first opening coming on 55 minutes. McMurray did well to cut inside and unleash a curling shot inside the box, but the ball clipped the post on its way out. From then both sides continued to create chances. After the hour mark Davy McDaid beat Kyle Owens and got a cross to Lavery who skied a good chance well over the crossbar.
It was then McDaid's turn for a chance from a free kick 20 yards out, but the striker could only find the arms of Glendinning. Inside the final 15 minutes of normal time, McMurray had a good turn and shot effort from outside the box saved well, before a shot from Cliftonville's Chris Curran was spilled by Glendinning before the Sky Blue's cleared. McMurray almost won it for Ballymena when the ball fell kindly for him from a long ball, but he could only rifle the effort straight at Burke as the game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.
The first half of extra time was an extremely tense affair. Substitute Conor McCloskey caused issues for Cliftonville on the right hand side, and two good crosses evaded all players in sky blue in the box.
The final 15 minutes brought better chances. Cliftonville did find the net on 106 minutes, but it was rightfully ruled out for offside. With 7 minutes left Curran went extremely close for Cliftonville when his effort from distance went inches wide. Then straight after Glendinning produced a wonderful save on the line to prevent substitute Jay Donnelly giving Cliftonville a lead. Right at the end the Reds went close again as Donnelly raced through, but despite beating Glendinning to the ball, he couldn't keep the shot on target. It was the last chance for a winner as the gruelling contest between two good teams would be ended by penalties.
Captain Jim Ervin missed United's first penalty, but saves from the hero Glendinning to deny first Curran, and then Martin Donnelly, put Ballymena in control. It all came down to substitute Allan Jenkins who calmly slotted home to send the home support wild as United took the shootout 4-3 and make it to round 6, where they face a trip to Harland & Wolff Welders.
David McDaid scored the first penalty for Cliftonville while Peter Burke saved from Jim Ervin
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Ross Glendinning saved from Chris Curran before Leroy Millar scored for United
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Ross Glendinning then saved from Martin Donnelly before Cathair Friel took advantage and put the Sky Blues into the lead
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The Ballymena United players celebrate after Allan Jenkins scored the last penalty to secure a spot in the sixth round
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Allan Jenkins scored the winning penalty
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Tony Kane was delighted after the game
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Ballymena United host Dungannon Swifts in the Danske Bank Premiership next Saturday, kicking off at 3pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane, Kyle Owens, Gavin Taggart ( Allan Jenkins 77), Willie Faulkner ( Conor McCloskey 89), Cathair Friel ( 47), Jim Ervin ( 67), Leroy Millar ( 48), Johnny McMurray, Caolan Loughran, Adam McCracken.

Subs not used: Alan Blayney, Johnny Flynn, Neil Lowry.