Willie Faulkner (69)
Cathair Friel (75)

2

Cathair Friel doubled United's lead (Picture: Brian Little/PressEye.com)

FAULKNER AND FRIEL STRIKE TO SEE SKY BLUES SAFELY THROUGH

Second half goals from Willie Faulkner and Cathair Friel saw Ballymena United book their place in the semi-finals of the Northern Ireland League Cup.

United started brightly when, following a number of half chances, Darren Henderson almost handed them an 11th minute lead when his half-volley from a Tony Kane cross was tipped around the post by Johnny Parr.

Another effort came just before the half-hour mark when Friel sent a snapshot just wide from the edge of the box while Darren King fired over at the other end.

Matthew Tipton's side had another chance just after the half-hour mark only for Stephen Murray to turn a Conor McMenamin cross straight at Ross Glendinning.

'Point were reduced to ten men on 37 minutes when Liam Bagnall was shown a straight red card by referee Keith Kennedy following a challenge to Jim Ervin.

Warrenpoint almost found a way through on 53 minutes when McMenamin dispossessed Kyle Owens but could only fire wide from close range.

For United, Leroy Millar sent an angled effort wide from ten yards on 66 minutes but the deadlock was eventually broken on 69 minutes. A poor defensive header from Aaron Traynor was pounced upon by Faulkner who duly returned the ball through the legs of 'keeper Parr.

It was 2-0 with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining. Dermot McVeigh thwarted Henderson only for the Ballymena man to win the ball back, have a shot on goal which was blocked before the loose ball fell for Friel to tap home.

Faulkner might have doubled his tally for the evening on 80 minutes only to see Stephen Moan clear off the line.

Warrenpoint Town: Parr, King, Moan, McVeigh, Traynor, Boyle, McKenna, McMenamin, McGuigan, Bagnall, Murray subs Maguire (not used), Dane (not used), Lynch (replaced McMenamin 87), Mulvenna (replaced McKenna 75), Croskery (replaced Traynor 85)

Ballymena United: Glendinning, T. Kane, Owens, Henderson, Jenkins, Faulkner, Friel, E. Kane, Wallace, Ervin, Loughran subs Shevlin (replaced Henderson 85), McVey (not used), Millar (replaced E. Kane 59), Mackie (replaced Friel 89), McCauley (not used)

Referee: Keith Kennedy