Ballymena overcome Dundela in Irish Cup

Dundela 1-3 Ballymena United

By Paul Alexander

Ballymena United defeated Dundela 3-1 at Wilgar Park on Saturday afternoon to avoid a major upset in the fifth round of the Tennent’s Irish Cup.

It took eight minutes for the Braidmen to net their first goal of the competition in 2019. Adam Lecky was held by Dundela captain Ben Murdock with the resulting spot-kick from Tony Kane saved by home goalkeeper Jonathan Sergeant. Despite Sergeant palming away to his left, Shane McGinty finished off the rebound.

The east Belfast hosts’ first chance followed soon after when Jordon Morrison completely cleared the crossbar with his attempt after Matthew King’s free-kick from just inside his own half.

The Sky Blues went 2-0 ahead within the opening 15 minutes. Stephen McCullough’s corner-kick from the right was glanced towards the left post by Adam Lecky. King tried to clear the ball off the line however he was unsuccessful in doing so.

McGinty could have recorded a second goal for himself on 17 minutes. Jude Winchester picked out Ryan Mayse but McGinty couldn’t guide in Mayse’s ball across the penalty area.

Ballymena continued to threaten as they crafted two opportunities in the 21st minute. Johnny McMurray headed over for the first opportunity after Mayse’s cross from the left wing. Winchester was then presented with the ball in the 18-yard box although Sergeant pushed the ball to his left before it was cleared for a throw-in.

Dundela would try to reduce their visitors’ two-goal advantage in the closing stages of the first-half. Jonny Addis blocked Christopher Watts’ effort and sent the ball to the left. It was collected by William Bingham who produced a shot which Ross Glendinning had to get down to gather.

The Duns did halve United’s lead with 16 minutes of the second-half played. A free-kick from the right wing was sent back across goal by Daniel Burns at the back post for TJ Murray to score. Left midfielder Burns broke through seconds later but his effort was blocked by Glendinning.

Glendinning continued to keep Ballymena afloat in the depths of the second-half of the cup tie. The visiting keeper held Watts’ shot at his near post, before denying David McMaster from the penalty spot. Glendinning guessed correctly with McMaster unable to meet the rebound.

The away side came close at the other end on 76 minutes. Winchester had an attempt blocked prior to McMurray’s shot being saved by the feet of Sergeant. Kane put the Sky Blues further in front in the 83rd minute with a free-kick on the left which he curled into the centre of the net.

Dundela: Sergeant, Brown, Murdock, Morrison, King (Sterling, 89), Burns, Devine, Murray, Bingham (McComb, 62), McMaster, Watts

Subs not used: Parker, Hanley, Browne, McBride

Ballymena United: Glendinning, McCullough, Addis, Ervin, Whiteside, Kane, Winchester, Lecky (Shevlin, 92), McGinty, Mayse (Harpur, 63), McMurray

Subs not used: Williamson, Quigley, Faulkner, McGrory, Balmer

Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus)

In-Touch Man of the Match: Ross Glendinning (Ballymena)



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