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Saturday 29th September v. Linfield (away) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Tuesday, 28th Aug, 2018 at 23:22

Date: Tuesday, 28th August, 2018; Competition: BetMcLean League Cup - Round 2; Attendance: N/A;
Ballymena United [2] [5]
Dollingstown [1] [1]
Venue: Dixon Park; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Jamie Robinson; Assistant 1: Ryan Kelsey; Assistant 2: Richard Hegarty;
Goals:
[1-0] FRIEL, Cathair (15 mins), [1-1] THOMPSON, Richard (29 mins), [2-1] MILLAR, Leroy (45 mins), [3-1] MILLAR, Leroy (49 mins), [4-1] FRIEL, Cathair (64 mins), [5-1] LECKY, Adam (71 mins)

BALLYMENA United are safely through to the third round of the BetMcLean League Cup after a 5-1 win over Dollingstown on Tuesday evening.
Both sides travelled to Dixon Park in Ballyclare for the cup clash with United making 9 changes for the game. As expected, The Sky Blues made the quicker start with Tony Kane sending a long range free kick narrowly over. Kofi Balmer made his first start of the season and almost marked it with a goal when he saw a header from a corner cleared on the line by Dollingstown skipper Aaron Moffett.
2 minutes later United went close from another corner, this time Reece Glendinning, making his competitive debut, put a good chance wide at the back post. On 14 minutes Cathair Friel looked certain to score with a free header on his first appearance back from injury, but he was denied by a wonderful one handed save by 'keeper Stephen Croft.
However, within a minute of that chance, Friel did manage to break the deadlock. Shane McGinty won the ball back for Ballymena and slipped in Friel who stayed onside before easily finishing low past Croft.
Following the goal Glendinning had a header easily gathered before Dollingstown started to show glimpses of an attacking threat, and on 29 minutes The Dollybirds stunned Ballymena with an equaliser. Glenn Hand found David Richmond who in turn found Richard Thompson and he produced a lovely turn before firing neatly past Thomas McDermott for 1-1.
The Braidmen looked to hit back quickly and Glendinning found Kane with a low cross and from 12 yards he should've done better when he dragged a shot wide. From another corner Adam Lecky unsurprisingly out-jumped 'keeper Croft to get to the ball first but he headed just over as Ballymena continued to be left frustrated.
As the first half approached added time Ballymena finally regained the lead through Leroy Millar. A Glendinning cross was flapped at by Croft and the ball fell to the feet of Millar who poked it home to give United a 2-1 half time lead over their Premier Intermediate League opponents.
Dollingstown started the second half brightly and Joshua Norton narrowly miss the ball at the back post following a Nathan McConnell cross. That opening would be about as good as it got for Dollingstown as United bossed the half.
On 49 minutes Millar grabbed his second goal of the game to make it 3-1. Lecky carried the ball well from the middle before finding Millar and his low shot went straight through an unfortunate Croft in the Dollingstown goal.
3 minutes later he could've had his hat trick. Lecky provided a delightful back heel to set Millar clear but he was denied by a fine save. Shortly after Millar had another go for his third after Friel produced two great nutmegs prior to teeing up the midfielder, but his shot was blocked.
With 64 minutes played The Skies found a fourth as Friel netted the second in his brace. Conor Quigley found the striker in the box and he got past two defenders before nicely finding the bottom corner.
Lecky was having an impressive second half and another deft touch found Glendinning who had a curling effort well stopped by Croft. With 19 minutes left Lecky got his goal to make it 5-1. Substitute Johnny McMurray, also back from injury, had a shot from distance parried out by Croft and Lecky was on hand to tap the ball home for his first competitive Ballymena goal.
Sub Willie Faulkner looked bright after coming on and after being wonderfully picked out by McMurray, he beat his marker to create a great opening but completely missed the target from close range. The Sky Blues could've added to their 5 goals with Jonny Addis, Kane and McMurray all having long range attempts either go just wide or saved but the game ended 5-1 to see Ballymena comfortably move into the third round draw.
Ballymena United travel to Milltown Playing Fields on Saturday afternoon to face Warrenpoint Town in the Danske Bank Premiership, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Thomas McDermott, Tony Kane, Conor Quigley, Jonathan Addis, Shane McGinty ( Willie Faulkner 70), Cathair Friel ( Johnny McMurray 70), Kofi Balmer, Jim Ervin, Adam Lecky ( Ryan Mayse 76), Leroy Millar ( 57), Reece Glendinning.

Subs not used: Ross Glendinning, Scot Whiteside, James Knowles, Jude Winchester.