IRISH CUP: Ballinamallard pay the penalty at Ballymena United

Ballymena's Jonathan McMurray celebrates

Ballymena United huffed and puffed a wee bit on Saturday but finally saw off Ballinamallard United 4-3 on penalties after the game ended 2-2 after extra-time.

The Mallards will be devastated as they were 2-0 up before the Sky Blues made it 2-2 in the 88th minute of normal time, before going on to win this Irish Cup Sixth round tie.

The visitors took the lead in the sixth minute. Stephen O’Flynn with the finish.

It was a fantastic strike from the big striker.

It was 2-0 in the 26th minute after Shane McGinty shot home from the edge of the box past a flat footed Ross Glendinning.

It was 2-1 in the 38th minute as Jonathan McMurray poked it home past the advancing Richard Brush in the Mallards goal.

In the 40th minute McMurray picked up a yellow card for a foul much to the displeasure of the Sky Blues faithful and manager David Jeffrey.

It was at this stage United replaced the injured Joe McKinney with Willie Faulkner.

United started the second half at a very fast pace and looked as they were going to play at a high tempo.

It should have been 2-2 in the 50th minute but Matthew Shevlin could not convert after Cathair Friel’s deflected shot fell to him.

In the 60th minute Braniff had a chance to make it 2-2 but he fired wide after being released by McMurray.

With 15 minutes left Ballinamallard were defending well and United were struggling to create any clear cut chances.

in th,e 84th minute Friel had a great chance to draw United level but he flashed his shot high and wide.

In the 88th minute is was 2-2 as McMurray scored his second send the home support crazy with joy as the game went to extra-time.

In the 95th minute McMurray his a rasper from a tight angle but Brush did well to push it round the post.

It was all United but the visitors were defending in numbers and this game was far from being decided.

The first period of extra-time ended scoreless as both sides faded in the bad conditions.

It was do or die for both sides in the final 15 minutes as they both looked for the winner to get their side through to the quarter-finals.

United had another couple of chances through Kofi Balmer and Conor McCloskey to win the game but both chances were lost.

Would the Sky Blues regret these misses?

They didn’t however as the game went to penalties and United went through 4-3 and a quarter-final clash against Larne.

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