Ballymena United 1
Comber Rec 0
Irish Cup (Round 6)


Ballymena United
1 - 0
Comber Rec 

Irish Cup (Round 6)
Saturday, February 10th, 2007
Ballymena Showgrounds
3:00 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Paul Brown (13)
None.

Team Managers
Tommy Wright
Jim O'Rourke

Starting Eleven
Paul Murphy
Aaron Callaghan
Simon Kelly
Craig McClean
Albert Watson
Gavin Melaugh
Lee Patrick
Mark Picking
Garth Scates
Paul Brown
Kevin Kelbie
Couston
McCloskey
Moore
P Kelly
McCrory
Dougherty
McCracken
Magowan
Barr
Miller
McKnight

Bench
Stuart King
Aidan Watson
Darren Fitzgerald
Bowers
Thompson
Johnston

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

Cautions
None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Colin Burns (Newtownabbey) (Referee)


Match Report


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



Squad Statistics (as at February 10th, 2007)


2006-2007 All Time
Age
Paul Murphy (GK)21 29 - 29 -
Aaron Callaghan20 28 - 28 -
Simon Kelly22 1 - 1 -
Craig McClean21 15 - 48 -
Albert Watson21 2811635
Gavin Melaugh25 5 - 5 -
Lee Patrick28 235466
Mark Picking31 286286
Garth Scates27 2831199
Paul Brown27 133235
Kevin Kelbie21 2795825
Stuart King (sub)25 181534
Darren Fitzgerald (sub)29 172287



League Table (as at February 10th, 2007)


Pld W D L Pts
1. Linfield 20 13 6 1 45
2. Cliftonville 20 12 6 2 42
3. Portadown 20 12 5 3 41
4. Glentoran 20 12 3 5 39
5. Coleraine 20 11 3 6 36
6. Crusaders 20 11 3 6 36
7. Dungannon 20 10 3 7 33
8. Distillery 20 9 5 6 32
9. BALLYMENA UTD 20 7 5 8 26
10. Armagh City 20 7 1 12 22
11. Newry 21 5 6 10 21
12. Limavady Utd 20 5 4 11 19
13. Glenavon 20 4 6 10 18
14. Donegal Celtic 20 3 8 9 17
15. Larne 20 4 2 14 14
16. Loughgall 21 0 6 15 6