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Tuesday 13th November v. Ards (away) - BetMcLean League Cup QF - k.o: 7:45pm

Uploaded Tuesday, 23rd Oct, 2018 at 23:17

Date: Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018; Competition: Toals Co Antrim Shield - Quarter-Final; Attendance: N/A;
Ballymena United [3] [3]
Ballyclare Comrades [0] [0]
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; Kick-Off: 19:45;
Referee: Evan Boyce; Assistant 1: Ken Ross; Assistant 2: Gavin Andrews;
Goals:
[1-0] MAYSE, Ryan (2 mins), [2-0] MILLAR, Leroy (pen 21 mins), [3-0] FRIEL, Cathair (45 mins)

BALLYMENA United are safely into the semi-finals of the Toals Co Antrim Shield after a 3-0 win over Ballyclare Comrades at the Showgrounds.
Jonny Addis stepped in to captain United for the first time while Ghanaian U20's striker Basit made his debut for the club.
Andy McGrory almost opened the scoring inside a couple of minutes with a free kick on the edge of the box, but it was fantastically saved by the right hand of Comrades 'keeper Patrick Flood.
United did break the deadlock seconds later though, scoring in the second minute for the second game running. From almost nothing, Leroy Millar slipped in Ryan Mayse who duly slotted a low finish home past Flood.
Goalscorer Mayse was on the end of a strong challenge from Samuel McIlveen 10 minutes later, and couldn't run the injury off, forcing David Jeffrey into a change, with Cathair Friel coming on for his 100th Sky Blues appearance.
With 20 minutes gone Ballymena were given the chance to double their lead when Millar was brought down just inside the box by Jason Johnston. Millar dusted himself down to take the spot kick himself and sent Flood the wrong way to make it 2-0.
Ballyclare's first attack of note ended with Thomas Robinson sticking the ball in the back of the net, but the goal was rightfully chalked off for offside.
On 26 minutes new man Basit came inches away from marking his debut with a goal. The forward was played in by Reece Glendinning and after a fine first touch and quick movement, he placed his effort agonisingly wide with the whole of the home stand willing it in.
The Braidmen were controlling play as expected and looked the more likely to add to their tally, but at the other end Ross Glendinning was called into action with a neat double save, denying Jamie Willighan on both occasions from the edge of the box. Willie Faulkner was denied by the woodwork 10 minutes from the break as the hosts went in search of a third to kill the game off before half-time. Millar won the ball back well and found Faulkner and his placed effort sailed past Flood before hitting the crossbar and falling back into Flood's arms.
Another Ballymena goal looked to be on the cards when Friel had a weak header easily saved before Flood did well to get a hand on the ball after he'd been rounded by Faulkner.
The third goal did come on the stroke of half-time to all but end the game as a contest. Sub Friel displayed super footwork and close control to create something from nothing before curling an effort that got the better of a strong hand from Flood to make it 3-0 at the break.
The second half failed to live up to the first period as Ballymena looked to be lacking a little of their sharpness and edge from the first half. The Skies thought they'd been awarded a second penalty at the start of the half when Friel appeared to be pulled down inside the box by Adam Wright, but instead a free kick was awarded right on the edge.
Glendinning took the free kick but his low, powerful strike was straight at Flood, whilst at the other end a similar attempt from Wright had the same result. Friel could've and maybe should've added to his tally for the evening on numerous occasions in the second half. He raced clear one on one on the hour mark after a defence splitting ball from Kofi Balmer, but stuck his effort just wide.
The next chance didn't arrive until almost 15 minutes later when patient build up play ended with sub Fra Nolan heading a Glendinning cross down the throat of Flood. With 10 minutes to go Friel had a carbon copy chance of his close shave earlier in the half. The forward raced clear again, but the ball followed an almost identical path in drifting just wide as the game whimpered out to give United a routine, professional win.
Ballymena United are back to league action on Saturday afternoon when they host Crusaders at the Showgrounds, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Match Report by Phillip McPeake
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Jonathan Addis, Scot Whiteside, Ryan Mayse ( Cathair Friel 17), Steven McCullough, Willie Faulkner, Andrew McGrory, Kofi Balmer, Leroy Millar, Reece Glendinning ( Tony Kane 83), Basit Abdulrahman Umar ( Fra Nolan 57).

Subs not used: Jim Ervin, Adam Lecky