Portadown 3 - 1 Ballymena United

League Cup - Group Stage
Saturday, August 19th, 2006, 3:00 PM at Shamrock Park
Referee: Ken Ginnett (Newtownabbey)
Portadown Ballymena United

Allan Smart (60)
Gary McCutcheon (70)
Gary McCutcheon (?)
Kevin Kelbie (42)

Team Managers
Ronnie McFall Tommy Wright

Starting Eleven
Michael Dougherty
Henry McStay
Barry Hunter
John Convery
Keith O'Hara
Marc McCann
Brendan Devenney
Richard Clarke
Peter Kennedy
Allan Smart
Gary McCutcheon
Paul Murphy
Aaron Callaghan
Albert Watson
Craig McClean
Gordon Simms
Aidan Watson
Gary Haveron
Lee Patrick
Mark Picking
Austin Friel
Kevin Kelbie

Michael Collins
Jamie Marks
Aaron Baker
Dominic Melly
Garth Scates
Darren Fitzgerald

Michael Collins for Brendan Devenney (46) Garth Scates for Lee Patrick (70)
Dominic Melly for Mark Picking (70)
Darren Fitzgerald for Austin Friel (77)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Paul Murphy (GK) 2 apps -
Craig McClean 35 apps -
Aaron Callaghan 2 apps -
Gordon Simms 65 apps5 goals
Albert Watson 137 apps4 goals
Lee Patrick 25 apps1 goal
Mark Picking 2 apps -
Gary Haveron 45 apps4 goals
Aidan Watson 33 apps3 goals
Austin Friel 2 apps -
Kevin Kelbie 33 apps17 goals
Garth Scates (sub) 93 apps6 goals
Dominic Melly (sub) 47 apps5 goals
Darren Fitzgerald (sub) 12 apps5 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aidan Watson (20 years 5 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (30 years 252 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 236 days
Domestic Players:9 (81.82 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Dominic Melly (19 years 36 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (30 years 252 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 336 days
Domestic Players:12 (85.71 % of matchday squad)

BALLYMENA United are still waiting for their first victory of the season after a 3-1 defeat at Portadown in their second CIS Cup group match today.

The Sky Blues deservedly led 1-0 at the break thanks to a Kevin Kelbie strike but then wilted under pressure from the home side in the second period.

"It was disappointing because the players did all we asked of them in the first half but then didn't do their jobs in the second half," reflected manager Tommy Wright.

United made a blistering start and came close to going in front on nine minutes when Austin Friel turned defender Barry Hunter and his 18-yard shot crashed off the underside of the bar, with Kelbie heading the rebound over from eight yards.

Ballymena again went close on 23 minutes when Friel's deep free kick to the back post was headed back across goal by Gordon Simms and skipper Albert Watson saw his header kept out at point-blank range by Ports keeper Michael Dougherty.

United, whose approach play was neat, were well on top in the opening period but almost conceded a goal from the home side's first meaningful attack on 41 minutes when Allan Smart's glancing header from Keith O'Hara's left-wing cross came back off the inside of the post and spun to safety.

But a minute later Ballymena were in front. Mark Picking's low cross was touched on by Friel and Kelbie, who had made a late burst into the penalty area, arrived to steer a shot past Dougherty.

Portadown introduced midfielder Michael Collins at the break and he was instrumental in his side's revival, the first signs of which came on 54 minutes when McCutcheon's fierce drive struck the top of the crossbar.

And on the hour mark, the home side did draw level, from the penalty spot, after Craig McClean was adjudged to have pulled down McCutcheon as the striker was about to shoot. United keeper Paul Murphy did get a hand to Smart's spot kick but was unable to keep it out.

Ten minutes later and United were behind. Aaron Callaghan produced a timely tackle to halt a Richard Clarke run but when the ball popped loose, McCutcheon took a couple of steps forward and curled home a delightful shot from the edge of the penalty area, the ball cannoning off the inside of the post into the opposite corner.

And with United's morale sapping away, the Ports wrapped up the victory when McCutcheon powered home a header from an excellent right wing cross by Marc McCann.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

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