Ballymena United 8 - 0 Orangefield OB

County Antrim Shield - Round 1
Tuesday, August 28th, 2007, 7:45 PM at Ballymena Showgrounds
Referee: Colin Burns (Newtownabbey)
Ballymena United  Orangefield OB

Randal Reid (8)
Davitt Walsh (9)
Stuart King (45)
Mark Picking (45)
Davitt Walsh (54)
Lee Patrick (59)
Davitt Walsh (62)
Darren Fitzgerald (90)

Team Managers
Tommy Wright
Gary Cunningham

Starting Eleven
Paul Murphy
Albert Watson
Craig McClean
Thomas Wray
Gary Haveron
Gavin Melaugh
Lee Patrick
Mark Picking
Stuart King
Davitt Walsh
Randal Reid
Andy McIntyre
Brian Reynolds
Dean Henderson
Ian Bickerstaff
Andy D'Arcy
Dean Cousins
Clarke Dempster
Tony Craig
Johnny Gibson
Ian Tittensor
Mark Lynn

Aidan Watson
Garth Scates
Stephen Lowry
Darren Fitzgerald
David Cushley
Ryan Hardy
Gary Arrell
James Houston

Stephen Lowry for Mark Picking (46)
Darren Fitzgerald for Randal Reid (61)
David Cushley for Craig McClean (66)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Paul Murphy (GK) 44 apps -
Thomas Wray 2 apps -
Craig McClean 63 apps -
Albert Watson 176 apps6 goals
Lee Patrick 52 apps7 goals
Gary Haveron 80 apps9 goals
Mark Picking 43 apps9 goals
Stuart King 63 apps6 goals
Gavin Melaugh 9 apps -
Randal Reid 19 apps4 goals
Davitt Walsh 1 app (debut)3 goals
Stephen Lowry (sub) 14 apps -
Darren Fitzgerald (sub) 42 apps10 goals
David Cushley (sub) 7 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Davitt Walsh (21 years 39 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (31 years 261 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 292 days
Domestic Players:9 (81.82 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:David Cushley (18 years 41 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (31 years 261 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 150 days
Domestic Players:14 (87.50 % of matchday squad)

BALLYMENA United completely demolished Orangefield Old Boys to qualify for the quarter finals of the County Antrim Shield on Tuesday.

Loan signing from Bohemians, Davitt Walsh, made a blistering start to his Ballymena United career scoring a hat-trick on his debut for the Braidmen.

United manager Tommy Wright fielded a strong line-up against Amateur League 1B side Orangefield OB, after the Sky Blues were unceremoniously dumped out of the same competition in the First Round last season by Dundela.

It took only eight minutes for Ballymena to open the scoring against the East Belfast outfit, as Randal Reid found time to drill a left-footed from outside the box, the young Randalstown striker's first goal of the new season.

Virtually straight from the restart, Ballymena continued to bomb down the wing and the lively Stuart King provided a low cross for the new Donegal born striker, Walsh, who tapped the ball home for his first goal in Ballymena colours.

Ballymena continued to completely dominate proceedings, and forced a number of corners and shots, but failed to add to their tally until the 45th minute when Gary Haveron's through ball fed Stuart King through and he stayed composed to round the goalkeeper from a very tight angle before rolling the ball home for number three.

The goalscoring wasn't over for Wright's side, who were now playing with confidence and looking dangerous every time they strode forward, despite the sub-standard opposition.

Haveron again turned provider as his long ball was expertly controlled by winger Mark Picking who chested the ball down before unleashing an unstoppable drive past the Orangefield shot stopper for number four with virtually the last kick of the first half.

The constant onslaught continued with the inevitable number five coming after 54 minutes, Davitt Walsh getting his second of the game when he volleyed home Stuart King's corner, as United continued to show their dominance.

Yet another Stuart King corner found a route to goal when Albert Watson met the cross only to divert it into the path of Lee Patrick, who forced the ball home for his first of the campaign and the sixth goal on 59 minutes.

Former Finn Harps striker, Walsh - who missed the first three games due to a minor throat operation - grabbed the match-ball just after the hour when he confidentially fired home Lee Patrick's through ball, giving the busy goalkeeper no chance.

Off-form striker Darren Fitzgerald came on as a substitute for Randal Reid, and he scored his second goal of the season in the final minute of the game, as he was clean through and rounded the goalkeeper before knocking the ball home for the magic eight. The relief was tangible from the former Rangers striker who has found himself under pressure of late.

Despite the Orangefield players and staff being given a standing ovation, this was Ballymena United's biggest victory since beating Ballymoney United by the same scoreline at the same stage in November 2002; it is also the biggest victory under Tommy Wright's leadership.

The victory provides the Braidmen with a home draw in the quarter-finals against Donegal Celtic on 11th September, after they defeated Glebe Rangers, 2-0.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

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