Ballymena United 5-0 H&W Welders
Ballymena United beat Harlond & Wolff Welders 5-0 at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Tuesday evening to advance into the second round of the Toals County Antrim Shield.
The Braidmen’s first-half showing was a complete contrast compared to seven days before when the two teams also met at the Warden Street venue in the Bet McLean League Cup.
Welders Right-back Karl Hamill made a timely interception with five minutes gone when he allowed for his goalkeeper, Matthew Anderson, to fall on Adam Lecky’s low cross from the right at the byline.
A second intervention also benefited the visitors six minutes later. This time Lecky was denied the opportunity to score by Scot McMillian. The rebound from Cathair Friel’s initial right-footed shot looked destined to reach Lecky but McMillan got to the ball first.
The Sky Blues attacking duo both rose for Leroy Millar’s corner-kick with Friel seeming to make the connection which directed the ball wide. On 19 minutes Johnny Addis’ up-field pass was and played back to Tony Kane by Lecky. Kane’s attempt flew away from the target, before the Ballymena skipper also had a free-kick clear the crossbar with 25 minutes played.
The away side’s most promising chance of the shield fixture came in the form of a 32nd minute free-kick. Captain William Armstrong and striker David Graham stood over the set piece before it was taken by the latter and went just wide of the far post.
Ballymena went in front through right wing-back Reece Glendinning with just under ten of the opening 45 minutes to play. Glendinning made his way in from the right wing and seen the space to finish into the bottom-left corner.
David Jeffrey’s side began to consolidate their lead minutes into the second-half. James Knowles’ shot from in and around the ‘D’, at the edge of the 18-yard box, took a touch which presented the ball to Lecky who would finish across goal.
The home side then received a penalty in the 51st minute after Millar had been fouled inside the Welders’ box. Kane took on the responsibility and scored into the centre of Anderson’s net. Knowles added a fourth goal just shy of the hour mark after Friel played the ball back to him from the right wing. The midfielder used his right foot as he swept the ball across the goal.
Millar was prevented from adding his name to the scoresheet on 71 minutes as Anderson got down to collect his low shot at the near post. United would record a fifth with Lecky’s second goal of the night. The striker headed Kane’s cross inside the left post at the back of the 6-yard box.
The Showgrounds faithful thought that Lecky had scored from Reece Glendinning’s cross in stoppage-time to secure the match ball with a hat-trick but he was adjudged to have been offside.
Ballymena United: Ross Glendinning, Quigley, Addis, Whiteside, Balmer (Burns, 74), Reece Glendinning, Millar, Kane [C], Knowles (Nolan, 72), Friel (Mayse, 72), Lecky
Subs not used: McCauley, Faulkner, McGrory, Ervin
H&W Welders: Anderson, Armstrong [C], McMillan, Spence, Hamill, O’Mahony (McIlmail, 81), Dornan (Bolton, 66), Harris, Deans, Graham, Gwiazda (Arthurs, 46)
Subs not used: Irwin, Stockman
Referee: Tony Clarke
In-Touch Man of the Match: Adam Lecky (Ballymena)
By Paul Alexander
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