Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena United set up Portadown semi duel

Ballymena United 2 Glenavon 0

By Victor Gordon

Ballymena United continued their Irish Cup run with victory over Glenavon to set up a semi-final date with Portadown.

Second-half strikes from Andy Smith and Noel Anderson won last night’s replay at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

After six goals in Saturday’s first meeting, the opening 45 minutes were an understandably tentative affair with few clear-cut chances. James Costello had the best effort, but it was easily saved.

After the break, Glenavon could have taken the lead when Stuart King’s deflected shot broke to Willo McDonagh six yards out but he scuffed his shot wide under little pressure.

Just a minute later, Trevor Molloy tried a rather more audacious effort, spotting Dwayne Nelson off his line and smashing a shot just wide of goal from just inside the Ballymena line.

However, Ballymena soon got into the thick of the goalmouth action and on 64 minutes opened the scoring when Andy Smith got past Jay Magee, played a neat one-two with Kevin Kelbie and unleashed a low drive into the bottom corner of the goal.

Costello had a great chance to equalise but he nicked his header just wide of the far post and substitute striker Shea Campbell was denied from an even better chance when his curling effort was tipped wide by Dwayne Nelson.

Glenavon were duly punished for their missed chances when Anderson wrapped up the game up with a minute left, the substitute running from the centre circle before shooting into the bottom corner.

BALLYMENA UNITED: Nelson, Ramsey, Stewart, Haveron, Surgenor, Watson, M Smith, Taggart (Anderson 83), A Smith, Keblie, Colligan. Subs not used: McConnell, Cushley, McNeill, O’Neill.

GLENAVON: Plummer, Haughey, Magee, Gracey, Carvill (Campbell 78), Molloy, McDonagh, Johnston (Harper 80), King, Costello, Liggett (Murray 72). Subs not used: Turkington, Finlay.

Referee: David Malcolm (Bangor)

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