Ballymena U 4 Glentoran 1
Ballymena United hit four as they saw off Glentoran 4-1 at the Showgrounds on Saturday.
The Glens had taken the lead through Curtis Allen but Allan Jenkins, Willie Faulkner and two penalities from Tony Kane sealed the win for David Jeffrey’s side and they will be up for next weekend’s clash with Coleraine.
After United’s 2-0 win away to Portadown last weekend, you would have expected the Sky Blues to come out flying but it was Glentoran who made all the early running as the rain poured down.
And it was Glemtoran who took the lead in the 15th minute as Curtis Allen slipped the ball past Alan Blayney in the United goal.
It was Allen’s 50th goal for the Glens - who were looking dangerous every time they attacked the United goal.
In the 22nd minute Allen could have made it 2-0 but his shot from a Ross Redman cross was off target.
Then right on half-time United’s Johnny McMurray tried his luck but his deflected shot hit the netting with Elliott Morris stranded.
The second half was six minutes old when United made it 1-1 through Jenkins.
A cross found Cathair Friel and his effort appeared to be rolling wide before Jenkins dived in to score.
The Glens could have taken the lead again in the 51st minute but Blayney saved well to deny James Ferrin from a free-kick. But the Glens player should have done better.
The Glens paid for that miss nine minutes later as Willie Faulkner made it 2-1. The midfielder heading home a Friel cross from the right hand side.
Keeper Blayney came to United’s rescue in the 73rd minute as he pushed away a piledriver from Chris Lavery,.
In the 83rd minute Friel sprinted clear from the half-way line.
His shot beat Morris but not the post and Gary Thompson was pulled down as he went to score from the rebound and the penalty was awarded.
Up stepped Tony Kane and it was 3-1 to the Sky Blues.
It was 4-1 to United in the 88th minute as Kane scored his second from the penalty spot after Marcus Kane after a Glens handball in the box.
Ballymena United: Blayney, T Kane, Owens, Thompson, Jenkins, Faulkner, Friel, Wallace, Ervin, McMurray, Loughran.
Subs: Glendinning, Flynn, McCloskey, E Kane, Millar.
Glentoran: Morris, Foley, Lavery, Redman, Allen, Smith, McAuley, Ferrin, Gordon, Harmon, Addis.
Subs: Nelson, Caldwell, Novo, Leu, Kane.
Referee: S Taylor.