Moyola Park welcomed Ballymena United to the Mill Meadow for a JBE League Cup 2nd Round tie. This was the second time the Sky Blues have visited the Mill Meadow this season after having played a 3-3 in preseason.
The first chance fell to the visitors in the 8th minute when Tipton fired his shot wide. A minute later Henderson had his shot saved by Farniok. The visitors continued to attack the home defence and in the 15th minute Faulkner found Jenkins and his shot was well saved by Farniok. Two minutes later a ball down the left found Cushley and he found Faulkner and his shot was saved by Farniok.
With 20 minutes on the clock Gallagher make a break down the right and exchanged a pass with Dowie and saw his shot saved by Nelson. In the 23rd minute Farniok made a great save from Henderson. Three minutes later McAllister cleared off the line following a corner for the visitors. Ballymena should have opened the scoring in the 27th minute when Rodger headed over when well-placed following a corner by Cushley.
With half an hour gone a run and cross from McAllister found McIlhatton who saw his header saved by Nelson. With three minutes left in the first half a dangerous ball in from Jenkins was cleared by McQuillan. Two minutes later a run down the right from Gallagher saw him cut inside onto his left foot and shoot straight at Nelson.
The home side took an unexpected lead in the 47th minute when a ball from Kelly from defence was chased down by Gallagher and he was brought down just inside the penalty area. Nelson in the visitor’s goal saved the penalty from Dowie only to see the Moyola forward score the rebound. In the 51st minute Henderson found Faulkner who his shot saved by Farniok and three minutes later Harris cleared following a shot from Faulkner.
In the 61st minute a cross from Tipton found Henderson who headed off the Moyola cross bar and at the other end Gallagher found Gray and he saw his shot deflected wide for a corner. The first change in the match came in the 66th minute when the visitors replaced Tipton with Shevlin. With twenty minutes left a goal line scramble saw the ball cleared twice by the Moyola defence.
Moyola made their first change in the 71st minute with Maguire replacing Magill. A minute later Cushley shot wide for the visitors and in the 75th minute the same player equalised when he turned and fired a shot into the bottom corner. Two changes were made in the 79th * 80th minutes with Ferguson replacing Gawley for the visitors and Paul replacing Gallagher. With eight minutes left Jenkins saw his shot saved by Farniok and with a minute left Paul made a run towards goal only to fire his shot wide. With the game into injury time Farniok made a brilliant save from Jenkins and then regrouped saved the rebound to take the game into extra time.
In the 7th minute of extra time the home side replaced Black with Waddell and 2 minutes later the visitors replaced Henderson with Millar. With11 minutes gone a ball found Shevlin in the box and he calmly lifted the ball over Farniok to gave Ballymena the lead. Two minutes later the visitors made the game safe when Kane fired a great shot into the far corner past Farniok and a minute later Shevlin found himself through on goal and fired past Farniok to make the score 4-1. With the firsthalf of extra time coming to a close Rodger saw his shot saved by Farniok. In the 22nd minute of extra time McAllister cleared the danger fromCushley and with five minutes left Shevlin fired a free kick wide and fellow substitute Millar saw his shot saved by Farniok. The last chance of the game fell to the home side when a ball in from Waddell was just missed by Dowie.
This was a spirited performance by the home side in front of a large crowd and with three goals being scored in four minutes in extra time the score line was harsh on Moyola manager Mervyn Pattison and his players.
Next up for Moyola is a home game with local neighbours Coach United in the Belfast Telegraph Championship 2 this Saturday, kicking off at 3:00pm.
Moyola Park: Marcin Farniok, Craig McAllister, Aaron Harris, Steven McQuillan ©, Steven Kelly, Nicholas Black (Mark Waddell 97), Eugene Gallagher (Jason Paul 80), Daniel McIlhatton, Christopher Dowie, Adam Gray, Kris Magill (Damian Maguire 71). Subs not used: Kyle Bradley, Conor McNamee.
Ballymena United: Dwayne Nelson, Eoin Kane, Johnny Taylor, Gareth Rodger, Nathan Hanley, Willie Faulkner, Matthew Ferguson (Neal Gawley 79), Allan Jenkins, David Cushley, Matthew Tipton (Matthew Shevlin 65), Darren Henderson (Leroy Millar 99). Subs not used: Paddy McNally, Benny Quigg.