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Friday 5th April v. Linfield (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 7:45pm

Uploaded Saturday, 5th Jan, 2019 at 19:52

Date: Saturday, 5th January, 2019; Competition: Tennent's Irish Cup - Round 5; Attendance: N/A;
Dundela [0] [1]
Ballymena United [2] [3]
Venue: Wilgar Park; Kick-Off: 15:00;
Referee: Ross Dunlop; Assistant 1: Gareth Eakin; Assistant 2: Matthew Thornbury;
Goals:
[0-1] McGINTY, Shane (9 mins), [0-2] LECKY, Adam (15 mins), [1-2] MURRAY, Thomas (69 mins), [1-3] KANE, Tony (82 mins)

BALLYMENA United booked a place in the sixth round of the Tennent's Irish Cup with a 3-1 victory at Dundela.
United captain Jim Ervin was making his 200th appearance for the Sky Blues as the sides met for the first time in a competitive fixture since October 2006.
After a bright start from the Championship outfit Ballymena were handed the chance to open the scoring when Adam Lecky won a penalty after being pulled down by Duns skipper Ben Murdock. Tony Kane stepped up but saw his penalty saved by Jonathan Sergeant, however Shane McGinty was on hand to net the follow up and put United ahead.
Dundela responded to going behind with their first attempt of the game, but Jordon Morrison could only blast over with a half volley from the edge of the box.
On 14 minutes United doubled their advantage courtesy of Lecky. On an extremely tight pitch, a corner from Steven McCullough was glanced to the far corner by Lecky. Despite the best efforts of the Duns defence to clear the ball off the line, it crept just over to give Lecky his second in three games.
With the game now firmly in Ballymena's control with only a quarter of an hour played they continued to flex their muscles. Jude Winchester cut the ball back on the by line for Ryan Mayse and his shot was narrowly missed by McGinty at the back post as the ball drifted wide. As the half progressed Johnny McMurray became more involved and he saw a header go over from a Mayse cross, before holding the ball up well for Winchester who had a shot well saved by Sergeant.
Dundela were involved in the game but just couldn't manage to carve out any chances, with a cross/shot from William Bingham easy work for the untroubled Ross Glendinning. With the last play of the half Scot Whiteside picked up a yellow card for a foul 30 yards from the Ballymena goal, but Daniel Burns sent the free kick miles over as the half ended 0-2.
For most of the second half, the controlling and professional manner of the Braidmen's play from the first 45 minutes seemed to evaporate a little as the hosts dominated for large portions of the half. 5 minutes into the half Burns showed great feet to get into a good shooting position, which forced Glendinning into a good save before Whiteside cleared any remaining danger.
On the hour mark Dundela pulled a goal back which was more than deserved. A free kick just inside the United half was met by TJ Murray who got up highest to head home into the far post to half the deficit to 2-1. After the goal Dundela stepped up the pressure further on the visitors. Sub Carl McComb played in Christopher Watts who got the better of Ervin for pace and called Glendinning into another good stop.
In the 63rd minute Mayse was replaced by his former Dungannon team mate Ryan Harpur, who came on for his United debut having signed from the Swifts on New Years Day. Watt was starting to cause Ballymena some real problems as he produced a sharp turn to get a shot away from an acute angle but it was well held by Glendinning. The Dundela defence was largely untroubled until Winchester got in behind and flashed a shot across goal, with Lecky unable to get his toe to the ball as it went across the goalmouth.
With 18 minutes left Dundela were awarded a penalty as McGinty brough down Watt following a corner. Burns took the spot kick but United were given a huge let off as Glendinning went the right way and made the save to keep the scores at 2-1. That missed penalty seemed to give Ballymena the lift they needed as the Sky Blues came on strong for the final 15 minutes. A shot from Winchester fell kindly for McMurray at close range but Sergeant did well to thwart the forward.
On 83 minutes Ballymena all but secured the win when they moved 3-1 ahead. McMurray won a free kick 25 yards out and it was fired home by Kane. Having to shot up the hill on the uneven pitch Kane put his effort straight down the middle with the 'keeper already on the move.
Dundela almost hit back instantly at the other end as goalscorer Kane cleared a Morrison header off the line. McMurray went close late on but couldn't convert as Ballymena wrapped up a 3-1 win. United came through well after a bit of a scare to set up a home tie with Portadown on Saturday 2nd February.
Ballymena United host league leaders Linfield in the semi-final of the Toals Co Antrim Shield on Tuesday evening, kicking off at 7:45pm.
Match Report by Author Name
Ballymena United Team:
Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane ( 66), Jonathan Addis ( 72), Scot Whiteside ( 45), Ryan Mayse ( Ryan Harpur 64), Shane McGinty, Steven McCullough, Jude Winchester, Jim Ervin, Adam Lecky ( 89 Matthew Shevlin 90), Johnny McMurray.

Subs not used: Jordan Williamson, Conor Quigley, Willie Faulkner, Andrew McGrory, Kofi Balmer.