Extra time goals seal Linfield victory over Ballinamallard
Linfield came within two minutes of League Cup elimination against Ballinamallard before progressing to round three with a 5-3 extra time win.
Two goals from Ryan Campbell and one from Callum Moorehead had threatened to claim another big scalp for last season’s surprise Irish Cup finalists, but Daniel Reynolds’ late goal took the game to extra time and a Ben McCann own goal and an Andy Waterworth strike saw the holders progress at the expense of the Mallards.
Ballinamallard Captain Richard Clarke was making his first start for five weeks following injury, and he made an immediate impact. Four minutes into the match the midfielder lifted the ball over the Linfield back line for John Edgar. Edgar fed the overlapping Callum Moorehead who cut the ball back for Ryan Campbell, and the Mallards top scorer volleyed the ball into the far corner.
Ballinamallard retained their lead for thirty minutes but the Blues levelled the match when Lavery rose unmarked to head in Millar’s corner. Corners were to be the undoing of the Mallards as they conceded six minutes later from the other side. Waterworth drove in a low ball to the near post. Millar did not make the cleanest of connections but his scuffed effort fell kindly for McGivern who blasted home from close range.
Ballinamallard’s Taheny had a header hacked off the goal line as the first half ended, and at the start of the second the lively Moorehead won a corner. John Edgar headed towards goal from Taheny’s cross, with Campbell rising to divert the ball past Deane.
With fifteen minutes remaining Jason McCartney collected a pass on the right and fired in a low cross that new signing Callum Moorehead turned past Deane from six yards to give the home side the lead. It looked as though that goal would take Ballinamallard through but Reynolds pounced on a loose ball in the box to fire in an equaliser in the eighty eighth minute. In extra time Linfield completed their comeback with a Ben McCann own goal and an Andy Waterworth strike edging them through, despite a late Sean McEvoy consolation goal.
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Linfield: Deane, Callagher, Waterworth, Cooper, Millar, Lavery, Clarke (Reynolds 86) , Fallon (Shevlin 82), Mulgrew, McGivern, Hume (Quinn 77). Subs Ferguson, Larkin, Corbett
Ballinamallard: Connolly, McCann, Taheny, Smith, Robb (Cashel 60), Clarke (McIlwaine 90), Campbell (McEvoy 83), Warrington (McCartney 71), Edgar, O’Reilly, Moorehead. Subs Unused Thompson, Kelly, Byrne
Referee: Tony Clarke
Match Rating: 9/10
Man of the Match: Richard Clarke
Belfast Telegraph Digital