BALLYMONEY UNITED 1 BALLYNAHINCH 1
(Ballynahinch won 5-4 after extra time and pens)
BALLYMONEY took control of this Irish Cup Fourth Round game at Riada Stadium from the start but created few chances as the visitors set up a very negative rearguard.
Ballymoney had to wait until the 15th minute for a Getty header to just skim the crossbar with McMullan beaten. The visitors soaked up the Ballymoney attacks which didn’t make it a spectacle for the spectators.
A great penetrating run from Craig on the half hour opened up the visitors’ defence finding Gillan with his pass but Gillan’s final shot come cross was palmed away to safety by McMullan in the visitors’ goal.
Another great run, this time from Dempsey on 35 mins, saw the defender cut in from the right and unleash a thunderous drive into the top corner of McMullan’s goal. Ballymoney dominated the rest of the first half but couldn’t add to their one goal lead.
Ballymoney again dominated the most of the second half but still didn’t create many chances. The game was bad tempered at times.
On a Ballynahinch attack on 80 mins the home defence had the ball but failed to clear their lines on two occasions and then let McKibben turn across the defence and cross to the back post inside the 6 yard box for Brashaw to head home for the equaliser.
Tempers flared again in the 95th minute and Kelly was sent off for the visitors.
In the first period of extra time Ballymoney continued to dominate and came close 2 mins in when a Gillan shot was well saved by McMullan.
The home side came close 5 mins later when Con Boyle broke through catching an awkward bouncing ball but didn’t get enough on his header and the defence recovered to clear the danger.
Craig went on a mazy run through the visitors defence and found Gillan who passed to McKenna who in turn found Gillan who shot and brought a good save out of McMullan.
Gillan skimmed the crossbar from the corner with the ‘keeper beaten. With time running out in the first period Craig went on another probing run and found Gilmore at the back post but the midfielder’s shot was blocked by McMullan and wide for a corner.
In the second period of extra time Ballymoney piled on the pressure but couldn’t break the resilient Ballynahinch defence.
Gillan homed in on the visitors’ goal and brought a good save out of McMullan. With time running out a Getty free kick was scrambled off the line and fell to Gilmore to follow up with a rasping drive well saved by McMullan. Ballymoney kept the pressure on till the end but were destined for penalties.
Gillan, McKenna and Craig scored penalties for Ballymoney but Keane and Dempsey had efforts saved and the Amateur League side were through to the next round.
Ballymoney United: Moore. Dempsey. Keane. Neal Thompson. Getty. Gilmore. Hugh OgBoyle. Craig. Con Og Boyle. Magee. Gillan. Subs: Keith Thompson. Milligan. McKenna.
* Tickets are presently on sale for New Year’s Eve £10 each Light Supper plus bus home 4 mile radius and music by Ray Carroll and Choice 2.
* The Ballymoney Resource Centre School of Rock will be putting on a show in Ballymoney United Social Club on Friday 14th December (7pm). Everyone welcome.