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Saturday 24th August v. Glentoran (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Uploaded Tuesday, 16th Oct, 2018 at 23:11

Date: Tuesday, 16th October, 2018; Competition: Toals Co Antrim Shield - Round 1; Attendance: N/A;
Ballymena United [1] [5]
HW Welders [0] [0]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Tony Clarke; Assistant 1: Stephen Donaldson; Assistant 2: Andrew Neeson;
[1-0] GLENDINNING, Reece (36 mins), [2-0] LECKY, Adam (49 mins), [3-0] KANE, Tony (pen 51 mins), [4-0] KNOWLES, James (59 mins), [5-0] LECKY, Adam (77 mins)

A SECOND half blitz from Ballymena United helped complete a 5-0 win over Harland & Wolff Welders in the first round of the Toals Co Antrim Shield on Tuesday evening.
After the weather got the better of the original date for the game in September, it was the second meeting between the sides at The Showgrounds in a week. And just like 7 days ago there was little to split the sides early on. United had the larger share of possession but a first real chance didn't arrive until 11 minutes in. Captain for the night Tony Kane played in Cathair Friel but he was denied by a fine save from young Welders 'keeper Matthew Anderson.
In what was to become surely Adam Lecky's best game to date for United, the big forward glanced a near post header wide before Tony Kane sent a free kick from 25 yards just over. With 28 minutes gone David Graham pounced on a mistake by Kofi Balmer with Balmer bringing The Welders man down on the edge of the box. Graham took the resulting free kick which flew inches wide of the post in the away side's best chance of the half.
Ballymena's patient play in the opening half hour was rewarded on 36 minutes when Reece Glendinning broke the deadlock. United's wide man cut inside from the right before curling an unstoppable effort home past Anderson from outside the box for Glendinning's second of the season.
Jonny Addis impressed on his return from injury and after embarking on a run with the ball into the opposition's box he teed up Glendinning but this time Anderson won their battle, making a good save. Just before the break The Welders went close to grabbing an equaliser when Luckas Gwiazda put a free header wide from a corner as the hosts ended the half narrowly ahead.
The second half produced some of United's best football this season and it took just 4 minutes for The Braidmen to find a second goal. Conor Quigley did well to find James Knowles, with his shot deflecting straight into the path of Lecky who calmly and neatly finished from close range.
Within 2 minutes United had a chance for a third when Leroy Millar refused to give up on a loose ball before being brought down in the box by 'keeper Anderson. Kane took responsibility for the spot kick and made no mistake, placing the ball down the middle to widen the gap to 3-0.
United's incredibly clinical start to the half showed no sign of stopping as Knowles made it 4-0 before the hour mark. Friel did well all on his own down the right hand side before he found Knowles just inside the box and his beautifully controlled effort went through a sea of bodies before finding the net.
The Welders simply couldn't get any hold in the half as Friel headed a free kick just wide before the forward produced a sublime back heel flick that was blocked on the line from a short corner. The visitors were still after a consolation goal and had chances when sub Ross Arthurs flashed a shot just wide before the same man was denied by Ross Glendinning inside the six yard box.
With 13 minutes left Lecky netted his second and Ballymena's fifth. Kane had time to pick out Lecky from wide and the forward made no mistake in heading home at the back post.
Full of confidence, Lecky produced the move of the match with numerous pieces of trickery in one move before getting on the end of a Glendinning cross and heading narrowly over. Sub Ryan Mayse almost got in on the act after another corner routine but he was denied by another good save from Anderson. Lecky would find the net for a third time late on but he was denied a deserved hat-trick by the offside flag, as United eased into the quarter finals with a good nights work.
Ballymena United are back in league action on Saturday afternoon when they host Dungannon Swifts at the Showgrounds, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane, Conor Quigley, Jonathan Addis, Scot Whiteside, Cathair Friel ( Ryan Mayse 72), James Knowles ( Fra Nolan 72), Kofi Balmer ( Andrew Burns 74), Adam Lecky, Leroy Millar, Reece Glendinning.

Subs not used: Ben McCauley, Willie Faulkner, Andrew McGrory, Jim Ervin.