Ballymena United 1
Coleraine 1 (17-18 on pens)
League Cup (Round 2)

Ballymena United
1 - 1
(17-18 on pens.)

League Cup (Round 2)
Tuesday, November 7th, 2023
Ballymena Showgrounds
7:45 PM Kick-off

Scot Whiteside (45)
Joshua Carson (59) (pen.)

Team Managers
Jim Ervin
Oran Kearney

Starting Eleven
26. Sam Johnston
3. Corrie Burns
11. Steven McCullough
5. Scot Whiteside
28. Dylan Boyle
2. Kym Nelson
4. Donal Rocks
16. Fraser Taylor
7. Alex Gawne
10. Ryan Waide
37. Isaac Westendorf
Gareth Deane .1
Lyndon Kane .2
Dean Jarvis .3
Graham Kelly .5
Conor McKendry .7
Joshua Carson .11
Kieran Farren .14
Jamie Glackin .17
Andrew Mitchell .22
Jake Wallace .23
Andrew Scott .29

1. Sean O'Neill
22. Caleb Crawford
20. TJ Murray
17. Andrew McGrory
30. Michael Place
15. Fiontan O'Boyle
33. Noah Stewart
Martin Gallagher .12
Aaron Jarvis .6
David McDaid .10
Lee Lynch .16
Jack O'Mahony .21
Michael McCrudden .26
Senan Devine .31

Michael Place for Kym Nelson (17)
Andrew McGrory for Donal Rocks (90)
Noah Stewart for Ryan Waide (90)
David McDaid for Jake Wallace (46)
Lee Lynch for Andrew Scott (46)
Michael McCrudden for Andrew Mitchell (72)

Michael Place (29)
Scot Whiteside (36)
Corrie Burns (85)
Kym Nelson (88)
Jamie Glackin (44)
Joshua Carson (64)
Dean Jarvis (85)
Conor McKendry (108)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Evan Boyce (Referee)
John Doherty & David Burns (Assistants)
Jamie Robinson (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Ballymena United exited the BetMcLean League Cup in dramatic fashion after an 18-17 penalty shootout defeat to Coleraine, after 120 minutes had finished 1-1 at The Showgrounds on Tuesday evening.

Following Saturday's heavy defeat in Loughgall, Jim Ervin made four changes for the Last 16 tie, including a return for Isaac Westendorf and a start between the sticks for Sam Johnston.

Looking to making it two derby day wins in a row, United started brightly on Warden Street as early on Ryan Waide fired over after a Coleraine error at the back, with the same man then testing Gareth Deane inside the box.

With just a quarter of an hour gone the hosts were forced into an early change when Kym Nelson received a boot to the head and he looked in real discomfort as he made way for Mikey Place. Nelson's injury meant a reshuffle to the back five, as Alex Gawne switched wings to the left wing back role, but the contender for man of the match wasn't fazed and himself called Deane into action once more.

By the half hour mark it was still mostly United, who were limiting Coleraine to virtually nothing, and it was almost 1-0 when Waide found Place with a stunning through ball, before Place surged into the box but saw a strong effort well saved. It took until thirty-eight minutes for the Bannsiders to worry Johnston, but when he had work to do it was easy enough to deny Lyndon Kane from distance, before Steven McCullough made a timely block to deny Conor McKendry.

With a minute to go to the break, it was Ballymena who broke the deadlock with a more than deserved goal. Jamie Glackin brought down Place to allow the hosts a good crossing position and they made it count as McCullough's delivery was met by Scot Whiteside, and the skipper, who was a colossus all night, nodded home past Deane for a half time lead.

The second half was a slow burner as the Sky Blues failed to quite reach the levels of the first half, and after an uneventful fifteen minutes, Coleraine were given a chance to level from the spot. Davy McDaid, a half time introduction, was brought down by a dangling Place leg which allowed Joshua Carson to try and level from twelve yards, which he did as he fired home down the middle.

United reacted fairly well to the leveller and for the remainder of the half it was them who had the better of things once more. Minutes after the equaliser, a tidy move ended with Gawne firing over, before a corner from Waide missed the heads of both Westendorf and Whiteside when it was begging for a touch. With fifteen to go McCullough saw a free kick deflect onto the roof of the net, while Westendorf spun his man to create a great chance to move back in front, but Deane was out quickly to make a big stop.

Coleraine had their moments but really struggled to turn attacks into chances, with Conor McKendry weaving his way to the edge of the box before seeing a tame effort saved all they really did to work Johnston.

With a couple of minutes to go Waide almost won it when he glanced a header off a corner just wide, but after a timid five minutes of added time, the tie headed to extra time.

The Braidmen will probably feel they did more than enough to win it in normal time after a promising ninety minutes in which they got forward plenty and looked almost flawless at the back, but an extremely cagey extra time suggested both sides were happy enough to see it to penalty kicks. Coleraine showed slightly more endeavour in the first period, but McDaid dragged an effort wide with their only chance.

The second fifteen minutes began with a big chance for McDaid after a mistake by Corrie Burns in his own box, but he made amends with a vital block to deny the former United man. With five minutes to go Michael McCrudden saw a goal flagged for offside, before a massive chance passed Ballymena by, as McCullough picked out Place in the six yard box, but somehow he fired over, as the cup tie went to penalties.

The penalty shootout provided a frankly ridiculous ending as it took forty-four penalties to decide the tie. United had work to do when Andy McGrory and Place both missed early on, but Johnston saved from Kieran Farren and Kane to extend the shootout, for what felt like an extra four days. After nine straight pens went in, Lee Lynch missed allowing Burns a chance to win it, but he blazed over.

After both 'keepers squeezed their efforts in, back round again they went, with an incredible twelve penalties scored, before Glackin missed, but Noah Stewart followed him to keep things going. Seven more were converted, but with the forty-fourth kick, marking the end of two runs right through all eleven players, 'keeper Johnston put his penalty wide to end an historic shootout and United's League Cup campaign, as they were more than unfortunate to exit in scarcely believable circumstances.

Match report written by Philip McPeake (

Squad Statistics (as at November 7th, 2023)

2023-2024 All Time
Sam Johnston (GK)27 2 - 9 -
Corrie Burns20 7 - 7 -
Steven McCullough29 16 - 2258
Scot Whiteside26 1711152
Dylan Boyle21 9 - 9 -
Kym Nelson28 16 - 715
Donal Rocks23 11 - 11 -
Fraser Taylor20 16 - 16 -
Alex Gawne22 132132
Ryan Waide23 12312818
Isaac Westendorf22 9393
Andrew McGrory (sub)31 8 - 14925
Michael Place (sub)25 15 - 756
Noah Stewart (sub)19 8383

League Table (as at November 7th, 2023)

Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 15 13 1 1 40
2. Larne 15 9 5 1 32
3. Cliftonville 15 9 2 4 29
4. Crusaders 15 8 4 3 28
5. Glentoran 15 7 3 5 24
6. Coleraine 15 7 2 6 23
7. Loughgall 15 6 3 6 21
8. Carrick 15 5 1 9 16
9. Glenavon 15 4 1 10 13
10. BALLYMENA 15 3 1 11 10
11. Newry 15 3 1 11 10
12. Dungannon 15 1 6 8 9