Ballymena United 3 - 0 Ballyclare Comrades

County Antrim Shield - Round 1
Tuesday, August 19th, 2008, 7:30 PM at Ballymena Showgrounds
Referee: Brian Turkington (Belfast)
Ballymena United  Ballyclare Comrades

Goalscorers
Davitt Walsh (29)
Neil Teggart (62)
Neil Teggart (64)
None.

Team Managers
Roy Walker
James Kirk

Starting Eleven
Alan Blayney
Albert Watson
Craig McClean
Thomas Wray
Gary Haveron
Gavin Melaugh
Joe McDonnell
Michael McGinlay
Peter Kennedy
Davitt Walsh
Neil Teggart
Ian Mannus
Andrew Long
Ryan Murray
Stuart McClean
Paul Caldwell
Evan Forsythe
Michael Smith
Simon McGowan
Mark Craig
Eddie Hill
David Freyne

Substitutes
Gavin McDonnell
Liam Hogan
Aidan Watson
Mark Picking
Michael Ward
Andy Simms
Ricky Higgins
Aaron Wallace
Andrew Forsythe
Darren McKay

Substitutions
Liam Hogan for Gavin Melaugh (28)
Aidan Watson for Peter Kennedy (70)
Gavin McDonnell for Gary Haveron (82)
Ricky Higgins for Eddie Hill (76)
Andrew Forsythe for David Freyne (82)
Darren McKay for Mark Craig (76)

Bookings
None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Alan Blayney (GK) 1 app (debut) -
Craig McClean 97 apps -
Albert Watson 211 apps8 goals
Thomas Wray 23 apps3 goals
Peter Kennedy 1 app (debut) -
Joe McDonnell 1 app (debut) -
Michael McGinlay 1 app (debut) -
Gavin Melaugh 41 apps4 goals
Gary Haveron 109 apps10 goals
Neil Teggart 1 app (debut)2 goals
Davitt Walsh 25 apps11 goals
Liam Hogan (sub) 1 app (debut) -
Gavin McDonnell (sub) 1 app (debut) -
Aidan Watson (sub) 74 apps3 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Michael McGinlay (20 years 258 days)
Oldest Player:Peter Kennedy (34 years 352 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 25 days
Domestic Players:9 (81.82 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Michael McGinlay (20 years 258 days)
Oldest Player:Peter Kennedy (34 years 352 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 135 days
Domestic Players:13 (81.25 % of matchday squad)

BALLYMENA United finally got their season under-way with a comfortable win over neighbours Ballyclare Comrades in the County Antrim Shield first round.

This low-key encounter was Roy Walker's first in charge at the Braid, and the former Crusaders and Glenavon boss gave full debuts to Alan Blayney, Joe McDonnell, Michael McGinlay, Peter Kennedy and Neil Teggart.

The home side were in complete control throughout, however failed to create many clearcut chances until the 20 minute mark when Joe McDonnell’s header sailed over the bar, and soon after fellow debutant Neil Teggart seen his headed effort also glance over.

The deadlock was broken in the 29th minute by Davitt Walsh, who had the honour of scoring Ballymena's first competitive goal of the new season. A long ball forward was flicked on by Kennedy into the path of Walsh, who coolly rushed in to slide the ball under Ian Mannus from 12 yards.

Michael McGinlay then was next to try his luck three minutes later when he rifled an effort which forced the Comrades’ goalkeeper into a finger-tip save to force the goalbound effort over the crossbar.

Jamesy Kirk's Championship side nearly found their way back into the game with their first real chance of the match, when Michael Smith’s cross come shot deceived Alan Blayney and came back off the inside of the United post, but was scrambled to safety.

The second half began in similar fashion to the first, although there was a lack of match sharpness from the Warden Street outfit, understandably as it was their first game in 17 days, due to a number of factors.

Lively striker, Neil Teggart, came close ten minutes into the second period when he turned well in the penalty and forced a smart save out of the visiting goalkeeper.

On 62 minutes; it was the former Sunderland striker again who doubled the Premiership side's lead in this Shield encounter, as after good work by the impressive Kennedy and McGinlay he received the ball with his back to goal and hit an audacious back-heeled attempt from 10 yards which gave the 'keeper no chance.

Two minutes later Teggart doubled his tally in his first appearance, and put the game well beyond the reach of the Dixon Park side. He was put through as he easily outpaced the defender and calmly slotted in United's third goal of the evening.

Walker also gave first appearances from the bench to defenders Liam Hogan and Gavin McDonnell, as the focus quickly turns to the IFA Premiership opener against Cliftonville on Saturday.

Ballymena United will play Shield holders Glentoran in the quarter-finals at the Oval on 9th September, the East-Belfast side comfortably defeat Newington YC in their First Round tie.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

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