Ballymena United flying high in Faroe Islands with landmark Europa League win to set up Malmo tie

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey. Pic by INPHO.
Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey. Pic by INPHO.
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Ballymena United have created club history across European competition thanks to a scoreless draw in the Faroe Islands.

The second-leg blank scoreline with NSI Runavik secured the Sky Blues safe passage into another round of European football for the first time ever and at the eighth attempt overall.

Goals by Leroy Millar and Jude Winchester from last week’s 2-0 home defeat of Runavik at Ballymena Showgrounds provided David Jeffrey’s side with the upper hand.

And another spirited display left the Danske Bank Premiership outfit marching on after the Europa League preliminary round second leg.

The reward will be a place in the first qualifying round and test over two legs with renowned Swedish club Malmo - along with a significant six-figure cash windfall

Ross Glendinning had been one of the heroes on home soil in Ballymena with a key save and proved sharp between the posts, once again, to protect the clean sheet.

A determined block by the experienced Tony Kane also helped Ballymena maintain control despite Runavik pressure across the final stages.

Winchester’s long-range drive past the post provided the pick of the United attacking threat but, ultimately, the first-leg advantage proved key across a memorable tie for Ballymena.

NSI RUNAVIK: Thomsen, Hojgaard, Davidsen, Nersveen, K.Olsen, P.Justinussen, J.Mortensen (Dalbud, 64), Hentze (H.Olsen, 84), Knudsen, Benjaminsen (Egilsson 74), Hansen.

Subs (not used): Joensen, Langgaard, M.Mortensen, J.Olsen,

BALLYMENA UNITED: Glendinning, Kane (Burns, 84), Whiteside, Friel, McCullough, Carville, Balmer, Winchester (Harpur, 92), Ervin, Lecky, Millar.

Subs (not used): McDermott, Mayse, McGinty, Kelly, Lavery.