Ballymena United 2 - 0 Donegal Celtic

County Antrim Shield - Semi final
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012, 7:45 PM at Ballymena Showgrounds
Attendance: 696
Referee: Hugh Carvill (Belfast)
Ballymena United  Donegal Celtic

Goalscorers
Alan Davidson (63)
Gary Thompson (68)
None.

Team Managers
Glenn Ferguson
Pat McAllister

Starting Eleven
Dwayne Nelson
Aaron Stewart
David Munster
Ross Black
Tony Kane
Alan Davidson
Alan Teggart
Gary Thompson
Gavin Taggart
David Cushley
Jamie Davidson
John Connolly
Peter McCann
Patrick McShane
Burns
Hughes
Ryan Deans
Conor Downey
Cleary
Shane Dolan
Mark Miskimmin
Ciaran Gargan

Substitutes
Stuart Addis
Michael Ruddy
James Costello
James McCabe
Neil Lowry
None.

Substitutions
James McCabe for Jamie Davidson (61)
Neil Lowry for David Cushley (78)
Michael Ruddy for David Munster (85)
None.

Bookings
None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dwayne Nelson (GK) 134 apps -
Tony Kane 42 apps3 goals
David Munster 45 apps4 goals
Ross Black 29 apps1 goal
Aaron Stewart 149 apps4 goals
Alan Teggart 55 apps12 goals
Gary Thompson 16 apps5 goals
Alan Davidson 16 apps4 goals
Gavin Taggart 100 apps3 goals
David Cushley 96 apps15 goals
Jamie Davidson 28 apps5 goals
Michael Ruddy (sub) 9 apps -
Neil Lowry (sub) 22 apps2 goals
James McCabe (sub) 12 apps3 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Jamie Davidson (18 years 309 days)
Oldest Player:David Munster (33 years 257 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 87 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Jamie Davidson (18 years 309 days)
Oldest Player:David Munster (33 years 257 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 264 days
Domestic Players:15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)

A FIRST final since 2006 beckons for Ballymena United after they overcame Donegal Celtic by 2 goal to nil at the Showgrounds on Tuesday evening.

United threatened early, with Gary Thompson shooting just wide after a penetrative run through the midfield. The Sky Blues then had a decent shout for a penalty turned down on the half hour mark when Ally Teggert appeared to be pulled back inside the box.

Mark Miskimmin threatened for the visitors with a couple of long range efforts, but 'keeper Dwayne Nelson dealt with any impeding threat comfortably, furthering his impressive recent form. The rest of the first half passed by devoid of incident, as a scrappy midfield battle began to ensue.

United started the second hand with fresh impetus, and appeared determined to score first. Jamie Davidson almost did when he turned expertly on the right hand side and let fly a thunderous shot, forcing a good save out of John Donnelly in the DC goal. Soon after David Cushley struck, only to see his shot arrow past the post after good build up play by Alan Davidson.

On 51 minutes, manager Glenn Ferguson introduced his first change of the evening, bringing on young striker James McCabe in place of his counterpart Jamie Davidson. Jamie's namesake Alan then finally opened the scoring on 63 minutes after an angled shot nestled just inside post after a great through ball by Gary Thompson.

Four minutes later the advantage was doubled, James McCabe played an exquisite cross field ball into the path of Gary Thompson, whose calm finished sailed past Donnelly to the delight of the home support.

Alan Davidson could have turned the victory into a rout when he was denied twice as the game neared it's conclusion. His first effort was palmed away to safety before a powerful effort flew just wide.

Late substitutes Neil Lowry and Michael Ruddy helped shore things up as United saw out the rest of the match panic free and book a final spot in the Country Antrim Shield for the first time since 2006.

The Sky Blues will face league champions Linfield in the showpiece decider on November 27th, with the final venue yet to be confirmed.

Match report written by Jordan Miller

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