Ballymena United 1 - 0 Comber Rec

Irish Cup - Round 6
Saturday, February 10th, 2007, 3:00 PM at Ballymena Showgrounds
Referee: Colin Burns (Newtownabbey)
Ballymena United  Comber Rec

Paul Brown (13)

Team Managers
Tommy Wright
Jim O'Rourke

Starting Eleven
Paul Murphy
Aaron Callaghan
Albert Watson
Craig McClean
Simon Kelly
Garth Scates
Gavin Melaugh
Lee Patrick
Mark Picking
Kevin Kelbie
Paul Brown
P Kelly

Aidan Watson
Stuart King
Darren Fitzgerald

Stuart King for Mark Picking (62)
Darren Fitzgerald for Kevin Kelbie (76)
Bowers for McKnight (76)
Thompson for McCrory (88)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Paul Murphy (GK) 29 apps -
Aaron Callaghan 28 apps -
Simon Kelly 1 app (debut) -
Craig McClean 48 apps -
Albert Watson 163 apps5 goals
Gavin Melaugh 5 apps -
Lee Patrick 46 apps6 goals
Mark Picking 28 apps6 goals
Garth Scates 119 apps9 goals
Paul Brown 23 apps5 goals
Kevin Kelbie 58 apps25 goals
Stuart King (sub) 53 apps4 goals
Darren Fitzgerald (sub) 28 apps7 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aaron Callaghan (20 years 229 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (31 years 62 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 207 days
Domestic Players:9 (81.82 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Aidan Watson (20 years 180 days)
Oldest Player:Mark Picking (31 years 62 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 256 days
Domestic Players:12 (85.71 % of matchday squad)

PAUL Brown's third goal for Ballymena United this season wasn't one of his best - but it was the most important.

The former Limavady United striker, who revealed to TimesSport that he nearly gave up the game to concentrate on darts, delivered the 13th minute strike which settled the JJB Sports Irish Cup tie with battling Comber Rec. on Saturday to set up a money-jangling quarter-final with Linfield at the Showgrounds on the first Saturday of next month.

The Amateur League side brought several busloads of supporters to the match and they gave their players a standing ovation at the end of a match that had few highlights.

One plus for the Sky Blues was an impressive debut at the centre of defence by Simon Kelly, the former Dundalk defender, who hardly put a foot wrong.

Kelly, who first appearance for United was delayed by a two-match ban imposed while he was playing for the border club, said: "It was a scrappy game, and after we scored I thought we'd go on and win it at our ease. That didn't happen - it can often be like that a cup fixture... you are just happy to be through to the next round.

"At one-goal it was dodgy, in case you made a mistake. There was no real sustained pressure on us, just long balls which we dealt with."

Rec. were well-organised and disciplined, but they were caught napping when the defence failed to clear a right wing cross from Mark Picking and Brown hammered the ball into the net from close range - his second goal in successive matches.

The visitors earned high credit marks for a gutsy display, but they seldom threatened United keeper Paul Murphy, though Mark Miller might have done better with an early chance and Craig McCracken, the former Linfield striker volleyed the ball over the bar when former Distillery midfielder Jim McCloskey's corner was headed into his path.

Match report written by Official Ballymena United website

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