Ballymena United 1 - 0 Donegal Celtic

County Antrim Shield - Quarter final
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013, 7:45 PM at Ballymena Showgrounds
Referee: Ross Dunlop
Ballymena United  Donegal Celtic

David Cushley (36)

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Paul McAreavey

Starting Eleven
Dwayne Nelson
Aaron Stewart
David Munster
Mark McCullagh
Stephen McBride
Tony Kane
Alan Teggart
Allan Jenkins
David Cushley
Michael McLellan
Shane Dolan
Brian McGurk
Karl Rossborough
Daniel Wallace
Mark Burns
Ciaran Burns
Conor Downey
Gary Warwick
Pearse Devine
Patrick Kelly
Emmett Templeton
Kevin Hughes

Mark Surgenor
Alan Davidson
Gavin Taggart
Gary Liggett
Neil Lowry
Joseph Todd
Conor Glenholmes
Neil Slane
Mark Shannon
James Moore

Alan Davidson for David Cushley (60)
Gary Liggett for Michael McLellan (73)
Gavin Taggart for David Munster (77)
Conor Glenholmes for Conor Downey (84)
Joseph Todd for Ciaran Burns (87)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dwayne Nelson (GK) 167 apps -
David Munster 71 apps5 goals
Tony Kane 78 apps6 goals
Aaron Stewart 176 apps6 goals
Stephen McBride 5 apps -
Mark McCullagh 16 apps -
Allan Jenkins 80 apps12 goals
Alan Teggart 87 apps16 goals
Michael McLellan 5 apps1 goal
Shane Dolan 18 apps5 goals
David Cushley 125 apps24 goals
Gavin Taggart (sub) 122 apps5 goals
Alan Davidson (sub) 47 apps8 goals
Gary Liggett (sub) 26 apps7 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Michael McLellan (20 years 250 days)
Oldest Player:David Munster (34 years 221 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 94 days
Domestic Players:9 (81.82 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Neil Lowry (20 years 51 days)
Oldest Player:David Munster (34 years 221 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 278 days
Domestic Players:13 (81.25 % of matchday squad)

Ballymena United edged into the semi-finals of the County Antrim Shield with a nervy win over Donegal Celtic.

David Cushley’s first half header proved the difference between the sides as the Sky Blues passed the opening hurdle in their defence of the trophy they won last season.

Manager Glenn Ferguson, perhaps, mindful of United’s struggle against lower division opposition in Ballymoney United in the League Cup, fielded a strong side, packed with senior experience. The Championship side weren’t overawed in the opening stages with firstly Pearse Devine screwing a shot wide before Emmett Templeton’s low shot was saved by Dwayne Nelson.

At the other end, from a quickly-taken free kick, Alan Teggart’s low cross was scooped over the bar by the well-placed Allan Jenkins. After a spluttering opening half hour, United made the breakthrough on 36 minutes.

From a corner, the ball was worked back to Aaron Stewart, whose hanging cross was headed home via the underside of the bar, by Cushley. Ballymena had an opportunity to double their advantage just after the hour when Michael McClellan dragged a shot wide from the right hand side of the penalty area. DC still looked dangerous with former United midfielder Conor Downey forcing Nelson into a save with a shot from the edge of the box.

The west Belfast side came close to levelling when Pearse Devine’s diving header from eight yards when narrowly wide after Warwick’s deep cross had been headed back across goal. And with United living on their nerves, Nelson had to produce a brilliant save to tip Warwick’s volley over the crossbar.

At the other end, Jenkins released sub Gary Liggett who cut inside a defender but his left foot shot was beaten away by McGurk. The keeper also did brilliantly to beat out a close-range Liggett volley from Alan Teggart’s cross in the closing stages.

Match report written by Stephen Alexander

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