Newry Town (City) 2 - 2 Ballymena United

Irish Cup - Round 5
Saturday, January 12th, 2008, 3:00 PM at Newry Showgrounds
Referee: David Malcolm (Bangor)
Newry Town (City) Ballymena United

Goalscorers
Jonathan Flynn (o.g.) (13)
Chris Morgan (58)
Simon Kelly (29)
Kevin Kelbie (48)

Team Managers
Unknown. Tommy Wright

Starting Eleven
Robert Robinson
Niall Hudson
Cullen Feeney
Paddy McLaughlin
Emmet Friars
Richard Clarke
Darren King
Steven Ferguson
Chris Morgan
Sean Friars
Kevin Keegan
Paul Murphy
Craig McClean
Jonathan Flynn
Simon Kelly
Thomas Wray
Gary Haveron
Gavin Melaugh
Lee Patrick
Mark Picking
Stuart King
Kevin Kelbie

Bench
Lee Feeney
Andrew Coleman
Ian Curran
Tony Anderson
Paul Donegan
Aaron Callaghan
Stephen Lowry
Darren Fitzgerald
David Cushley
Davitt Walsh

Substitutions
Lee Feeney for Chris Morgan (80) Stephen Lowry for Mark Picking (76)

Bookings
None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Paul Murphy (GK) 66 apps -
Simon Kelly 30 apps2 goals
Thomas Wray 8 apps -
Craig McClean 83 apps -
Jonathan Flynn 15 apps1 goal
Lee Patrick 66 apps7 goals
Mark Picking 61 apps11 goals
Stuart King 77 apps6 goals
Gavin Melaugh 28 apps1 goal
Gary Haveron 99 apps10 goals
Kevin Kelbie 91 apps44 goals
Stephen Lowry (sub) 32 apps3 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Jonathan Flynn (18 years 59 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (32 years 33 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 38 days
Domestic Players:9 (81.82 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Jonathan Flynn (18 years 59 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (32 years 33 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 115 days
Domestic Players:13 (81.25 % of matchday squad)

BOTH Newry City and Ballymena United will get a second crack at progression to the sixth round of the Irish Cup after an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Newry Showgrounds.

Garth Scates (suspension) and Albert Watson (illness) missed the game, with Lee Patrick and Simon Kelly coming in to stake their claim for a regular starting berth.

Stand-in captain, Gary Haveron, also celebrated a landmark as it was his 100th appearance in a Ballymena United shirt, after joining from Coleraine in 2005.

It was a horror start for the Sky Blues, who had previously went a dozen games unbeaten, as they went behind in bizarre circumstances after just 13 minutes.

Chris Morgan released Kevin Keegan down the left flank and his low cross was blocked by teenage defender, Johnny Flynn, who harmlessly directed the ball towards Paul Murphy in the Ballymena goal.

Murphy stopped the ball but somehow the ball squirmed out of his grasp from under him, and despite a futile attempt to prevent a major embarrassment - the ball trickled over the line for the opening goal.

Ballymena’s heads didn't drop and went on the attack in search of an equaliser, which duly came on 29 minutes when Stuart King's corner was powerfully headed home by the unmarked Simon Kelly.

This was the big Dundalk defender’s first goal of the season, and only his second strike since his move from his hometown club last January.

The game proved a tense affair with battling midfield displays from both sides in what proved to be a typical cup tie – as tensions ran high going into the break.

Ballymena United took the lead three minutes into the second half, when a Mark Picking cross from the right was poorly dealt with by the Newry defence allowing Kevin Kelbie time to place a right footed shot past Robert Robinson for his 11th goal of the season.

Newry hit back just before hour mark to pull the scores level again. Richard Clarke's pass found former United target, Chris Morgan, who with his back to goal turned sharply and rifled a spectacular half-volley into the bottom corner giving Murphy no chance.

Despite the home side being in the ascendancy, it was Tommy Wright's side that nearly cemented their place in the Sixth Round when Stuart King picked up the ball and cut inside before rifling an unstoppable effort from 30 yards which cannoned off the crossbar with 5 minutes remaining.

David Malcolm blew the game up to signal that both sides will have to go at it again on Tuesday night (15th) at the Warden Street venue.

"I'm disappointed because when you go 2-1 up away from home then the next 10 minutes are vital and we gave a sloppy goal away," said Tommy Wright.

"But we showed character and we're still in the hat for the next round and that was the most important thing. I didn't think in the first half that we passed the ball that well and we gave it away cheaply.

"We were defending really well from them and then the keeper makes a mistake because there was a lot of spin on the ball, but Murph has been brilliant for us this season and he went on to make an important save in the second half. Those things happen in football."

The winners of Tuesday’s replay will face Dundela at home in the Sixth Round.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

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