Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena and Linfield through to League Cup final after narrow semi successes

Kofi Balmer celebrates sealing another final spot with Ballymena United.
Kofi Balmer celebrates sealing another final spot with Ballymena United.
Linfield's Andrew Waterworth celebrates netting the winning goal at Stangmore.
Knockout blow: Leroy Millar hits the winner for Ballymena United at Seaview
Bet McLean Cup Semi-Final, Seaview, Belfast 11/12/2018 Crusaders vs Ballymena United Ballymenas Leeroy Millar fires his side into a 1-0 lead Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton
Bet McLean Cup Semi-Final, Seaview, Belfast 11/12/2018 Crusaders vs Ballymena United Ballymenas Leeroy Millar celebrates after he fires his side into a 1-0 lead Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton
Bet McLean Cup Semi-Final, Seaview, Belfast 11/12/2018 Crusaders vs Ballymena United Ballymenas Leeroy Millar celebrates after he fires his side into a 1-0 lead Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton
Crusaders' Rodney Brown and Ballymena's Adam Lecky. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 11-12-18 Dungannon Swifts v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Semi-Final Dungannons Conrad Cummins WBO European middleweight title holder during this evening's game at Stangmore Park, Dungannon. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 11-12-18 Dungannon Swifts v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Semi-Final Dungannon's Mark Patton clears the danger from Linfield's Joel Cooper during this evening's game at Stangmore Park, Dungannon. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 11-12-18 Dungannon Swifts v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Semi-Final Dungannon's manager Kris Lindsay during this evening's game at Stangmore Park, Dungannon. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 11-12-18 Dungannon Swifts v Linfield - BetMcLean League Cup Semi-Final Linfield's Jordan Stewart and Dungannon's Jarlath O'Rourke during this evening's game at Stangmore Park, Dungannon. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/12/2018 Crusaders v Ballymena United League Cup semi Final. Crusaders Gary Thompson and BallymenaÕs Jode Winchester pictured in action during this evenings game at Seaview win Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Who will be celebrating come full-time in tonight's League Cup semi-finals?

The Premiership's current top two sides will do battle in the Bet McLean League Cup final.

Ballymena United went through with a big win at Seaview and they were soon joined by Linfield, who netted in extra-time to make the decider.

Here's all you need to know about tonight's games and live updates from Stangmore:

Crusaders 0-1 Ballymena United

Ballymena are in to their fourth League Cup final in five seasons after a battling victory at Seaview.

Both sides enjoyed periods of possession but it was the league leaders who provided the touch of pure class when it was required.

The goal came from the move of the match on 68 minutes. Impressive Ballymena centre-back Kofi Balmer pinged an inch-perfect pass out to Jude Winchester on the left flank and he did well to cut back past two defenders into space. When the cross swung towards Cathair Friel, the centre-forward made sure there would only be one winner, forcing the ball to Leroy Millar to slam home the finish.

Dungannon Swifts 0-1 Linfield (AET)

Linfield scored the winner at the start of extra-time, Andy Waterworth netting his 19th of the season after Kirk Millar's shot was saved.

Tyrone GAA stopper Niall Morgan, making a comeback for his former side due to the unavailability of the Swifts' two stoppers, kept the hosts level by saving the best chance of the 90 minutes.

After Joel Cooper went close with two warning shots, that man Waterworth looked set to open the scoring from close range but saw his effort somehow stopped by Morgan.

Keep up to date with extra-time on our live blog:

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