Jonathan McMurray (23)
Cathair Friel (42)
Jonathan McMurray (60)
Willie Faulkner (73)

4

Jimmy Callacher (20)

1

Jonathan McMurray celebrates scoring against Linfield (Picture: Kevin Scott/PressEye.com)

SKY BLUES THUMP LINFIELD ON WAY TO LAST EIGHT PLACE

Ballymena United blasted their way to a comprehensive defeat of Linfield in this third round Northern Ireland League Cup tie at The Showgrounds.

The Sky Blues started the game brightly, creating a number of early chances with Jonathan McMurray proving a particular threat.

However, Linfield appeared to have weathered that storm when, on 20 minutes, Jimmy Callacher poked the ball over the line when United's debutant teenage 'keeper Ben McCauley fumbled a dropping ball from a corner.

But Ballymena were back on level terms three minutes later. McMurray collected the ball inside the Linfield half before going forward to fire past Roy Carroll at the near post.

Cathair Friel edged David Jeffrey's side in front on 42 minutes with a superbly struck left foot effort into the top left corner which dipped over Carroll and under the bar.

The visitors were reduced to ten men on 55 minutes when Ross Gaynor collected his second booking of the game.

McMurray extended Ballymena's lead on the hour with his second of the game, a superbly executed drive into the top corner which Carroll scrambled to keep out.

Willie Faulkner then completed the scoring on 73 minutes with a rifled effort into the bottom left corner after Friel had done well to send the ball towards the back post.

Ballymena United: McCauley, T. Kane, McBride, Owens, Thompson, Jenkins, Faulkner, Friel, Ervin, McMurray, Loughran subs Flynn (replaced Owens 83), McCloskey (replaced Thompson 84), E. Kane (not used), Shevlin (not used), Millar (replaced McBride 90)

Linfield: Carroll, Stafford, Clingan, Callacher, Bright, Millar, Burns, M. Clarke, Casement, Mulgrew, Gaynor subs Haughey (replaced Stafford 46), Ward (not used), Carson (not used), Quinn (replaced Millar 72), R. Clarke (replaced Bright 61)

Referee: Raymond Crangle

Tags:  Ballymena United  Linfield