Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Ballymena United Allstars welcomed Linfield Ladies to Moyola Park on Wednesday evening in the Danske Bank Women's Premiership.
After a bright start from both teams, the first chance fell to Linfield with a nicely timed pass from captain Sarah Venney finding Kirsty McGuinness, who couldn't keep her shot down.
The Blues suffered a blow when they lost goalkeeper Lauren Perry to injury after only 14 minutes. Louise McFredrick came off the bench to take her place and she faced her first test immediately with a Ballymena corner, but Ali Smyth couldn't hit the target.
Linfield enjoyed plenty of possession and created a number of chances against the newly promoted side. At Half time the game remained scoreless.
The league champions started the second half strongly and broke the deadlock after 51 minutes with a fine strike from Leontia McVarnock who netted her first goal for the club.
Ballymena responded immediately with Alison Smyth getting to the by-line, her low ball across the face of goal was pushed away by McFredrick. The Sky Blues couldn't take advantage of the scramble inside the box from the resulting corner, and Linfield were able to get the ball away and clear their lines.
On 64 minutes, McGuinness dispossessed Ballymena defender Emma Haley just outside the box and made no mistake, rifling the ball past 'keeper Anna Daley from 20 yards to make it 2-0.
Linfield won the ball again immediately after the restart and a beautiful long range pass from Venney again found McGuinness whose low shot went straight through Daley. Two goals in two minutes for McGuinness, 3-0 to Linfield.
Ballymena worked hard, looking for a goal, and the fresh legs of substitute Rebecca Boyce brought the Sky Blues deep into the Linfield half but Alison Smyth pulled her shot from outside the box wide.
Linfield maintained their pressure and in the 92nd minute were awarded a penalty when Rebekah Reynolds brought down Megan Bell inside the box. Bell stepped up to take the spot kick herself and calmed slotted the ball home.
Ballymena United All Stars: Daley, Getty, Reynolds, Haley, Henderson, Young, Mullan, Winter, R. Smyth, Ali Smyth subs McDonald (replaced Winter 73), Boyce (replaced R. Smyth 73), Berry (replaced Fulton 82), McIntosh (not used)
Linfield Ladies: Perry, Burrows, McDade, Venney, Myles, Robson, McCarron, McGuinness, McVarnock, Haddock, Bell subs Orr (replaced McGuinness 79), McAleese (replaced McVarnock 68), McFrederick (replaced Perry 14)
Referee: Conor Murphy
|Megan Bell||90 +2p|
Tags: Linfield Ladies