Glenavon 1 - 3 Ballymena United

League Cup - Group Stage
Saturday, August 18th, 2007, 3:00 PM at Mourneview Park
Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)
Glenavon Ballymena United

Lewis Hamlin (5) Mark Picking (15)
Garth Scates (17)
Garth Scates (81)

Team Managers
Colin Malone Tommy Wright

Starting Eleven
William McFrederick
David Hawthorne
Paul Carville
Johnny Cowan
Gavin McDonnell
Eamonn Murray
Gerard McMahon
Ormon Okunaiya
Colm Kearney
Lewis Hamlin
Paul Walsh
Paul Murphy
Aaron Callaghan
Albert Watson
Craig McClean
Simon Kelly
Aidan Watson
Garth Scates
Gary Haveron
Mark Picking
Darren Fitzgerald
Paul Brown

Barry Meehan
Stephen Magennis
Stephen McGuigan
Marty Havern
Richard Gibson
Thomas Wray
Gavin Melaugh
Lee Patrick
David Cushley
Randal Reid

Stephen Magennis for Gerard McMahon (66)
Stephen McGuigan for David Hawthorne (78)
Richard Gibson (66)
Randal Reid for Darren Fitzgerald (71)
Thomas Wray for Mark Picking (76)
Lee Patrick for Paul Brown (78)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. Albert Watson (76)
Appearances & Goals To Date
Paul Murphy (GK) 42 apps -
Simon Kelly 15 apps1 goal
Albert Watson 175 apps6 goals
Craig McClean 61 apps -
Aaron Callaghan 41 apps -
Mark Picking 41 apps8 goals
Garth Scates 131 apps14 goals
Gary Haveron 78 apps9 goals
Aidan Watson 62 apps3 goals
Darren Fitzgerald 40 apps9 goals
Paul Brown 35 apps6 goals
Thomas Wray (sub) 1 app (debut) -
Lee Patrick (sub) 50 apps6 goals
Randal Reid (sub) 17 apps3 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aidan Watson (21 years 4 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (31 years 251 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 7 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:David Cushley (18 years 31 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (31 years 251 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 220 days
Domestic Players:15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)

AFTER the well documented events of the previous week, Ballymena United fans finally had something to cheer about after Saturday's win at Mourneview Park.

The Sky Blues ran out comfortable 3-1 winners against Glenavon, in an exciting encouter on matchday two of the CIS Insurance League Cup.

Speaking to the Sunday Life, United boss Tommy Wright was delighted with the in; "We showed a lot of character," he said. "To come back from a 5-1 defeat and then to go one-down away from home, with an away record like we had last season, their character was superb."

Things didn't start well for the Braidmen, as Glenavon raced into a fifth minute lead when Eamonn Murray's defence splitting pass found Lewis Hamlin. The former Larne man finished cooly, sliding the ball past Paul Murphy for his first goal of the season.

Ballymena's heads didn't drop and the United fans had thought they had got an equaliser on 13 minutes, when Paul Brown's header only found the side netting from close range.

The goal did come two minutes later on the quarter-hour when Darren Fitzgerald's shot was deflected by a Glenavon defender only into the path of Mark Picking who rifled the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Ninety seconds later, the visitors were in front when Garth Scates fired a loose ball past former Ballymena goalkeeper William McFrederick - after Aidan Watson had did well to block a Gerard McMahon clearance.

United continued to dominate, as Darren Fitzgerald beat the offside trap to his own surprise only to see his close range shot well saved by McFrederick at point blank range. This was only moments after skipper Albert Watson had saved United with a goal-line clearance from another Lewis Hamlin effort.

Ballymena continued to press, and Fitzgerald again came within a whisker off increasing the lead, as he dragged a shot just outside the far post only minutes after the restart.

Glenavon's best chance of the half came when Gavin McDonnell's header cannoned off the crossbar from a corner. The Sky Blues also managed to hit the upright, as Picking cannonned a shot off the post with 20 minutes remaining.

A crucial moment in the match came on 76 minutes when Albert Watson hauled down the goal-bound Lewis Hamlin on the edge of the box. Referee Arnold Hunter had no option but to give the Braid skipper the first red card of his Irish League career.

Ballymena blocked the resulting free-kick and five minutes, with nine minutes left on the clock they wrapped the game up.

Man-of-the match Garth Scates drilled a loose ball from just inside the area past McFrederick for his second goal of the game. Manager Wright praised his two-goal midfielder.

"Garth Scates was superb from start to finish. He was man of the match by a mile, scored two great goals and I'm really pleased for him. Technically he's one of the best midfielders in the Irish League."

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

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