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Ballymena United ease into quarter-finals

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Back of the net: David Cushley was on target for Ballymena

Back of the net: David Cushley was on target for Ballymena

Back of the net: David Cushley was on target for Ballymena

Ballymena United 3 Ballinamallard 0: Ballymena United exacted immediate revenge on Ballinamallard United with a comfortable win at the Showgrounds.

Three goals, two before the break from Allan Jenkins and David Cushley, followed by a Shane Dolan strike after half-time, fired Glenn Ferguson's side into the League Cup quarter-finals.

Ferguson watched the match from the stand after picking up a one-match touchline ban for having too much to say for himself.

Eager to make amends for their league defeat to the same opponents last Friday night, the Braidmen almost opened the scoring with 10 minutes on the clock.

Left-back Michael Ruddy sent in a swinging cross into the box where it was met with a textbook downward header by Jenkins but keeper Alvin Rouse, with the help of the woodwork, kept it out.

The deadlock was broken in the 19th minute and it was particularly cruel luck on Mallards' defender Mark McConkey.

Cushley's bustling run ended with the ball breaking loose for Shane Dolan but as he looked to pull the trigger, McConkey slid in superbly only to poke it into Jenkins' path and he slotted it home.

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Cushley made it 2-0 in the 36th minute and this time he didn't require a helping hand, bursting into the area and, when it looked his chance had gone, he twisted and turned to blast in a low shot.

The game was all but over as a contest nine minutes after the restart when Gary Thompson won the ball and found Dolan in the box, and this time he coolly despatched the ball home.

Whitey Anderson's men almost pulled a goal back within 60 seconds but Nelson reacted smartly to deny Ryan Campbell.

To their credit, they kept battling. Andy Crawford met a McConkey cross with his first touch after coming off the bench but his header just went over.

Late on, Michael McLlellan tried an outrageous driven chip from 40 yards that Alvin Rouse scrambled to tip over.

BALLYMENA UNITED: Nelson, Kane (Taggart 82), Ruddy, McCullagh, Taylor, Stewart, Thompson, Jenkins, Dolan (Liggett 88)' McLellan, Cushley (Teggart 66). Subs not used: Surgenor, Robinson.

BALLINAMALLARD UNITED: Rouse, McConkey, Keohane, Stafford, N. Beacom, Kee, Hutchinson (C. Beacom 66), Feeney (Crawford 61), McManus (Currie 72), Campbell, McCartney. Subs not used: Murphy, Cashel.

Referee: Mark Courtney (Dungannon)


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