Ballinamallard United 0
Ballymena United 2
Irish Cup (Quarter final)

Ballinamallard Utd 

0 - 2

Ballymena United

Irish Cup (Quarter final)
Saturday, February 29th, 2020
Ferney Park
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Joshua Kelly (17)
Tony Kane (pen.) (75)

Team Managers
Harry McConkey David Jeffrey

Starting Eleven
1. John Connolly
2. Sean McEvoy
3. Ben McCann
6. Richard Clarke
7. Aaron Arkinson
9. Ryan Campbell
12. Christopher Kelly
16. John Edgar
17. Nathan Cashel
19. Ryan O'Reilly
31. Ryan Morris
Ross Glendinning .1
Reece Glendinning .24
Steven McCullough .11
Tony Kane .2
Scot Whiteside .5
Jonathan Addis .4
Jude Winchester .20
James Knowles .10
Joshua Kelly .26
Cathair Friel .9
Adam Lecky .22

10. Joshua McIlwaine
14. Michael Glynn
15. Simon Warrington
21. Darragh McBrien
26. Mark Hannon
32. William McFrederick
33. Callum Moorehead
Jordan Williamson .31
Kyle Owens .35
Kofi Balmer .19
Ethan Warnock .29
Andrew Burns .14
Leroy Millar .23
Kenny Kane .12

Darragh McBrien for Sean McAvoy (69)
Joshua McIlwaine for John Edgar (76)
Mark Hannon for Aaron Arkinson (82)
Kofi Balmer for Jude Winchester (57)

Aaron Arkinson (10)
Sean McEvoy (32)
John Edgar (61)
Ryan O'Reilly (75)
Cathair Friel (84)
Reece Glendinning (88)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Keith Kennedy (Referee)
Gareth Eakin & George Argyropoulos (Assistants)
Lee Tavinder (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Ballymena United made the leap into the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup semi-final's after a hard fought 2-0 victory over Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park.

United made the long trip down to Co. Fermanagh to meet last years finalist's and made three changes to the side that drew with Cliftonville last week, with Cathair Friel, Josh Kelly and James Knowles in for the cup-tied Joe McCready, injured Ryan Harpur and Leroy Millar.

Before kick-off a minutes silence was held for IFA Football Operations Manager Craig Stanfield following his untimely death last weekend at just 50 years of age.

The Mallards' pitch held up well for kick-off considering the heavy rain and sleet and it was the hosts who started the better. Early on Ryan O'Reilly had a goalbound shot blocked by his own man before O'Reilly again forced Ross Glendinning into a good save from distance. From the resulting the ball fell to O'Reilly, but at the back post he turned the ball over.

Ballymena started to gain a foothold in the game after those chances and on 17 minutes they went ahead. Adam Lecky played a great ball down the right wing for Friel to run onto. He did well to get the ball into the box where Joshua Kelly was waiting, with Kelly seeing his first time effort loop over the Mallards' 'keeper and into the top corner.

United had a chance to go further ahead a few minutes later when Anthony Kane lined up a free kick from almost 30 yards, but John Connolly got down well to make the save. As the half progressed Ballinamallard came back into the game after a spell of Ballymena dominance, as the hosts passed the ball about well on an ever worsening surface. The Mallards' dangerman Ryan Campbell did well to work himself a shooting opportunity from a slight angle, but it was well saved by Glendinning.

In the final minutes of the half both sides had openings. The best fell to the Sky Blues when Jonny Addis found Friel who played in Jude Winchester, but as he tried to slot the ball under Connolly, the 'keeper saved smartly with his legs. With the last kick of the half Ryan Morris tried his luck with a free kick from well out, but it flew over the crossbar as United went into half-time ahead.

Following heavy rain just before half-time the pitch was almost just a field of mud by the time the second half got underway. The hosts started the half strongly and after Ballymena failed to clear their lines twice, Steven McCullough made a last ditch block to keep out Christopher Kelly. Winchester made way for Kofi Balmer on 59 minutes, with Balmer coming on and doing a fine job as a holding midfielder. The change came at a time when Ballymena were struggling to get hold of the ball, which was now regularly sticking to the ground, making passing difficult.

As the last 20 minutes approached it was mostly Ballinamallard causing the problems as they really took the game to Ballymena. A low ball in from sub Darragh McBrien was turned goalwards by O'Reilly, forcing Balmer to hook the ball off the line.

United's large and vocal travelling support was giving off a slightly nervous vibe until the 74th minute when Morris brought down Lecky in the box and Keith Kennedy pointed to the spot. Captain Tony Kane stepped up and despite Connolly going the right way he dispatched the spot kick into the top right corner to give the Braidmen breathing space.

The Championship side almost pulled one back instantly when McBrien fired just wide from the right hand side of the box, before at the other end Friel almost put the game out of sight when he was found by Kelly, but he was denied by an outstanding save from Connolly to see the game end 2-0.

Credit has to be given to both sides for some decent passages of play in awful conditions, but its Ballymena who progress to set up a huge semi-final tie with rivals Coleraine.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at February 29th, 2020)

2019-2020 All Time
Ross Glendinning (GK)26 28 - 138 -
Reece Glendinning24 10 - 212
Scot Whiteside22 191511
Jonathan Addis27 342765
Tony Kane32 23233948
Steven McCullough25 41 - 1245
James Knowles26 121416
Jude Winchester26 243598
Joshua Kelly20 282282
Adam Lecky28 2146421
Cathair Friel26 321015668
Kofi Balmer (sub)19 22 - 854

League Table (as at February 29th, 2020)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 30 21 3 6 66
2. Coleraine 29 17 8 4 59
3. Glentoran 30 17 7 6 58
4. Crusaders 29 16 7 6 55
5. Cliftonville 29 17 4 8 55
6. Larne 30 15 8 7 53
7. Glenavon 29 10 5 14 35
8. Carrick 30 10 2 18 32
9. BALLYMENA UTD 29 7 6 16 27
10. Dungannon 29 7 5 17 26
11. Warrenpoint Town 30 5 2 23 17
12. Institute 30 2 9 19 15