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Thursday 29th June v. Odds BK (away) - Europa League Rd1 - k.o: 6:00pm

Uploaded Tuesday, 9th May, 2017 at 00:36

Date: Monday, 8th May, 2017; Competition: Europa League Play-Off - Semi-Final; Attendance: N/A;
Ballymena United [3] [5]
Dungannon Swifts [0] [2]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Ian McNabb; Assistant 1: Stephen Bell; Assistant 2: Stephen Donaldson; 4th Official: Stephen Gregg;
Goals:
[1-0] KANE, Tony (3 mins), [2-0] McKINNEY, Joe (36 mins), [3-0] KANE, Tony (pen 40 mins), [3-1] LOWE, Kris (64 mins), [4-1] McMURRAY, Johnny (72 mins), [4-2] GLACKIN, Jamie (75 mins), [5-2] OWENS, Kyle (82 mins)

BALLYMENA United put 5 past Dungannon Swifts at the Ballymena Showgrounds to keep the European dream alive.
Officials and Captains before the game
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David Jeffrey looks on in the bright sunshine
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Ballymena took the lead through Tony Kane in the 3rd minute, his 20th of the season. Kane had space outside the box for a shot, but en route to the goal, the ball took a huge bounce off the again questionable pitch, causing the ball to go through Stuart Addis and into the goal.
Tony Kane celebrates after scoring the opening goal
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Tony Kane is congratulated by his team mates
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On 5 minutes, Dungannon's woes worsened when Andrew Burns received a straight red for a strong tackle on United's Leroy Millar.
Andrew Burns brings down Leroy Millar
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Referee Ian McNabb shows Andrew Burns the red card
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Despite being a man down, Dungannon held their own after the early events. A quick, slick move involving Jamie Glackin, Andrew Mitchell and Jarlath O'Rourke couldn't quite end with a clear cut chance. On 24 minutes, Johnny McMurray got a low shot away, off balance, but despite beating Addis, the ball went narrowly wide. At the other end Johnny Flynn had to make a vital block to deny Glackin and then Mitchell easily turned Kyle Owens before only managing a tame shot at Ross Glendinning.
On 36 minutes United doubled their lead as Joe McKinney netted his first goal in a Sky Blue shirt. McMurray's header put the ball perfectly into McKinney's path, and he readied himself before unleashing a shot into the top corner. It was Ballymena's 100th goal of the season in all competitions.
Joe McKinney is congratulated after doubling the lead
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3 minutes later McMurray was pulled down in the box by the Swifts Dougie Wilson, with referee Ian McNabb awarding a penalty. Kane stepped up and dispatched it past Addis to make it 3-0 at half time.
Tony Kane celebrates after firing home a penalty to make it 3-0
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Dungannon came out quickly at the start of the second half and forced Glendinning into two early saves. First a close range header from Peter McMahon was well tipped over by Glendinning. From the following corner, Glendinning was again called into action, this time preventing Glackin. Ballymena almost wrapped things up on the hour mark when McMurray went on a solo pacy break. With McKinney and Willie Faulkner arriving in the box, McMurray's ball narrowly evaded them both. On 63 minutes, the Swifts made things interesting when Kris Lowe grabbed Dungannon's opener. A neat flick from McMahon played the ball to Lowe who fired into the bottom corner, despite Glendinning's best efforts.
However 7 minutes later, Ballymena restored the 3 goal lead. Faulkner timed his run to beat the offside trap after a ball from McMurray, and Faulkner then turned provider, playing in McMurray who scored into the empty goal.
The 6th goal of this franctic game came on 74 minutes when Dungannon again used the left wing well, and this time it was Glackin who cut inside to place into the same corner as Lowe.

It was almost a nervy final 10 minutes when, despite Wilson being down with a head injury, the Swifts played on and McMahon had a header blocked by Flynn for a corner. With 8 minutes left Ballymena found a fifth. Kane added an assist to his brace when his corner was met by defender Owens who headed home past the Swifts 'keeper.
Dungannon couldn't find a third despite 3 late chances as Ballymena came out 5-2 winners to set up a final with Glenavon at the Showgrounds, with the winners progressing to the Europa League qualifiers.
Ballymena United host Glenavon in the final of the Europa League Play Offs on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning ( 90), Tony Kane, Kyle Owens, Johnny Flynn, Allan Jenkins, Willie Faulkner, Jim Ervin, Leroy Millar, Joe McKinney, Johnny McMurray, Fra McCaffrey.

Tim Allen, Darren Henderson, Kevin Braniff, Michael Kerr, Adam McCracken.