8 - 0
8 - 0
County Antrim Shield (Round 1)
Randal Reid (8)
Davitt Walsh (9)
Stuart King (45)
Mark Picking (45)
Davitt Walsh (54)
Lee Patrick (59)
Davitt Walsh (62)
Darren Fitzgerald (90)
Stephen Lowry for Mark Picking (46)
Darren Fitzgerald for Randal Reid (61)
David Cushley for Craig McClean (66)
Colin Burns (Newtownabbey) (Referee)
BALLYMENA United completely demolished Orangefield Old Boys to qualify for the quarter finals of the County Antrim Shield on Tuesday.
Loan signing from Bohemians, Davitt Walsh, made a blistering start to his Ballymena United career scoring a hat-trick on his debut for the Braidmen.
United manager Tommy Wright fielded a strong line-up against Amateur League 1B side Orangefield OB, after the Sky Blues were unceremoniously dumped out of the same competition in the First Round last season by Dundela.
It took only eight minutes for Ballymena to open the scoring against the East Belfast outfit, as Randal Reid found time to drill a left-footed from outside the box, the young Randalstown striker's first goal of the new season.
Virtually straight from the restart, Ballymena continued to bomb down the wing and the lively Stuart King provided a low cross for the new Donegal born striker, Walsh, who tapped the ball home for his first goal in Ballymena colours.
Ballymena continued to completely dominate proceedings, and forced a number of corners and shots, but failed to add to their tally until the 45th minute when Gary Haveron's through ball fed Stuart King through and he stayed composed to round the goalkeeper from a very tight angle before rolling the ball home for number three.
The goalscoring wasn't over for Wright's side, who were now playing with confidence and looking dangerous every time they strode forward, despite the sub-standard opposition.
Haveron again turned provider as his long ball was expertly controlled by winger Mark Picking who chested the ball down before unleashing an unstoppable drive past the Orangefield shot stopper for number four with virtually the last kick of the first half.
The constant onslaught continued with the inevitable number five coming after 54 minutes, Davitt Walsh getting his second of the game when he volleyed home Stuart King's corner, as United continued to show their dominance.
Yet another Stuart King corner found a route to goal when Albert Watson met the cross only to divert it into the path of Lee Patrick, who forced the ball home for his first of the campaign and the sixth goal on 59 minutes.
Former Finn Harps striker, Walsh - who missed the first three games due to a minor throat operation - grabbed the match-ball just after the hour when he confidentially fired home Lee Patrick's through ball, giving the busy goalkeeper no chance.
Off-form striker Darren Fitzgerald came on as a substitute for Randal Reid, and he scored his second goal of the season in the final minute of the game, as he was clean through and rounded the goalkeeper before knocking the ball home for the magic eight. The relief was tangible from the former Rangers striker who has found himself under pressure of late.
Despite the Orangefield players and staff being given a standing ovation, this was Ballymena United's biggest victory since beating Ballymoney United by the same scoreline at the same stage in November 2002; it is also the biggest victory under Tommy Wright's leadership.
The victory provides the Braidmen with a home draw in the quarter-finals against Donegal Celtic on 11th September, after they defeated Glebe Rangers, 2-0.
Match report written by Official Ballymena United website
|Paul Murphy (GK)||22||4||-||44||-|
|Stephen Lowry (sub)||20||2||-||14||-|
|David Cushley (sub)||18||1||-||7||-|
|Darren Fitzgerald (sub)||29||4||2||42||10|
No games played.