Linfield 5 - 1 Ballymena United

League Cup - Group Stage
Saturday, August 11th, 2007, 3:00 PM at Windsor Park
Referee: David Malcolm (Bangor)
Linfield Ballymena United

Kris Lindsay (26)
Peter Thompson (36)
Glenn Ferguson (75)
Craig McClean (o.g.) (80)
Tim Mouncey (83)
Darren Fitzgerald (76)

Team Managers
David Jeffrey Tommy Wright

Starting Eleven
Alan Mannus
Stephen Douglas
Michael Gault
William Murphy
Damien Curran
Kris Lindsay
Paul McAreavey
Mark Dickson
Aidan O'Kane
Peter Thompson
Jamie Mulgrew
Paul Murphy
Aaron Callaghan
Albert Watson
Craig McClean
Simon Kelly
Aidan Watson
Garth Scates
Gavin Melaugh
Stuart King
Kevin Kelbie
Paul Brown

Tim Mouncey
Glenn Ferguson
Tim McCann
Jim Ervin
Thomas Stewart
Sean O'Neill
Gary Haveron
Lee Patrick
Mark Picking
Darren Fitzgerald

Glenn Ferguson for Peter Thompson (65)
Thomas Stewart for Mark Dickson (65)
Tim Mouncey for Jamie Mulgrew (71)
Darren Fitzgerald for Kevin Kelbie (62)
Mark Picking for Gavin Melaugh (62)
Lee Patrick for Aidan Watson (65)

Thomas Stewart (71) Simon Kelly (46)
Darren Fitzgerald (82)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Paul Murphy (GK) 41 apps -
Simon Kelly 14 apps1 goal
Albert Watson 174 apps6 goals
Craig McClean 60 apps -
Aaron Callaghan 40 apps -
Garth Scates 130 apps12 goals
Aidan Watson 61 apps3 goals
Stuart King 61 apps5 goals
Gavin Melaugh 8 apps -
Kevin Kelbie 71 apps33 goals
Paul Brown 34 apps6 goals
Mark Picking (sub) 40 apps7 goals
Lee Patrick (sub) 49 apps6 goals
Darren Fitzgerald (sub) 39 apps9 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aidan Watson (20 years 362 days)
Oldest Player:Garth Scates (27 years 356 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 306 days
Domestic Players:9 (81.82 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Sean O'Neill (19 years 126 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (31 years 244 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 333 days
Domestic Players:14 (87.50 % of matchday squad)

BALLYMENA United started their domestic season with a 5-1 defeat against Linfield at Windsor Park in the opening day of the CIS League Cup.

The Sky Blues now sit routed to the bottom of Group A, after the club's heaviest defeat in nearly 20 months.

United manager Tommy Wright was philosphical speaking to the Sunday Life; "I thought in the first 25 minutes we were excellent, but we gifted them two goals, and you can't afford to do that against Linfield,"

"We all know they're a quality side and you can't allow them to go two-up. What disappointed me is that in the second-half we didn't play as well as we did and I think it sums up their quality when they take off Thompson and Dickson and bring on Ferguson and Stewart for the last 25 minutes."

"Obviously we're disappointed, and it's the first match of the season, but we have to be ruthless this year and those mistakes can't continue."

Before kick-off the two teams, accompanied by various Linfield youth teams joined in an impeccably observed minutes silence for the late David Crawford, the former Chairman of the Belfast Blues.

Ballymena started lively at the drenched Windsor Park - with Garth Scates forcing Mannus to tip his thunderous shot over the bar. Scates came close again minutes later and a Brown header went just over - as United attacked from the start.

However, the Blues took the lead on 26 minutes when Damien Curran's corner found it's way to Kris Lindsay who seen his shot take a deflection to leave Paul Murphy helpless in the Ballymena goal.

United heads dropped and within ten minutes it was 2-0 to David Jeffery's side. Summer signing Curran, whipped another corner in which McAreavey's header was parried onto as far as Peter Thompson who fired home from close range.

During the break, referee David Malcolm had to be replaced by fourth official; Adrian McCourt.

It was the 75th minute, before Linfield stepped up another gear when Linfield substitute, Glenn Ferguson, shrugged off the tame challenge from Aaron Callaghan and rifled the ball past Murphy for Linfield's third.

However, virtually direct from the restart United pulled one back when United substitute Mark Picking dispossessed Aidan O'Kane and played through Darren Fitzgerald to knock home United's first goal of the new season.

With ten minutes remaining, Ballymena were denied a stonewall penalty by Adrian McCourt. Michael Gault hauled Paul Brown down in the penalty and denied the Sky Blues a slim chance of getting back into the game.

Typically however, Linfield roared straight to the other end of the pitch and the excellent Damien Curran found his cross turned into his own net by Craig McClean on 80 minutes.

Linfield completed their humilation of the Skies with their fifth goal on 83 minutes when Tim Mouncey's tame free-kick found it's way through the United wall and into the back of the net.

A 5-1 defeat on the opening day of the season for United, who will undoubtedly have to get back on track next Saturday against Glenavon.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

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