Ballymena United 5 Ballinamallard 2
Ballymena United boss Roy Walker isn’t one of these managers who was worried about getting a home draw in JJB Sports Irish Cup quarter-final, so he wasn’t too bother that his side have to travel to Glenavon next month.
The Braidmen reached the last eight following a comfortable 5-2 win over Championship side Ballinamallard United.
“I heard about side wanting a home draw, but that doesn’t bother me, because I think we are very capabile away from home,” declared Walker.
“It’s not as if there will be any surprises because you know the teams very well and you know what they are all about, but we’ll just get on with it.
“It was very difficult to be overly critical when you score five goals, but I wasn’t happy with the middle of our defence. We also lost one goal to a wonder strike, but the second goal I was very disappointed to lose.
“We just watched the sub (Seamus Quigley) come on and I was standing pointing into our box saying there is a big fella coming on and Chris (Ramsey) gave me the thumbs up saying he was picking him up but then he scored and that’s just incredible.
“But I think whenever they scored we scored quickly on both occasions, which was good and once the two goal lead was established it was properly game over and it was mission accomplished.”
As for Ballinamallard boss Whitey Anderson, he had no complaints about the result.
“I thought Ballymena were quite good, I watched them on Tuesday night against Cliftonville and I knew they were going to cause us trouble and that’s the way it turned out,” he said.
“Their two full-backs get forward and have a bit of quality, while they obviously have a bit of quality up front in Kevin Kelbie, but we are disappointed with some of the goals we gave away.
“I though we battled hard and scored a cracking goal from Cathal Beacom and then at 4-2 I thought we might get another break but they are a good side and were the better side on the day.”
Hat-trick hero Kelbie was delighted to have finished the week with four goals in United’s last two matches.
“It’s my first hat-trick in a long time so it was badly needed,” said the Scotsman.
“But it was a good result and we are glad to be in the quarter-finals.
“The boys had to work hard from the start against Ballinamallard to ensure that we got the first goal, but then they equalised, so that meant we had to put the foot down again and get back in front, which we did and then we took it on from there.
“Although it was an average performance but we are through and that’s all which was important.
“Cup football is all about results and making sure you are in the next round, we have done that so we have something to look forward to and we’ll see where it goes from there.”