MOYOLA PARK 1 BALLYMENA UNITED 4 (AET)
Ballymena United survived a major scare before progressing to the third round of the JBE League Cup with a 4-1 extra time win over Moyola Park.
Three goals in a three minute spell in the first period of extra time eventually took last year’s League Cup runners-up past the stubborn challenge of the Championship Two side.
Ballymena created a number of openings in the first half but were thwarted by the agility of Moyola keeper Marcin Farniok.
Moyola took the lead three minutes into the second half after they were awarded a penalty when Nathan Hanley brought down Eugene Gallagher.
Chris Dowie’s spot kick was saved by United keeper Dwayne Nelson but the striker followed up to bundle home the rebound.
Ballymena almost levelled just after the hour mark when Matthew Tipton’s cross from the right was met with a firm header by Darren Henderson but the effort came off the crossbar before spinning over the bar.
But the Premiership side eventually restored parity on 75 minutes when Johnny Taylor’s effort was blocked, it fell to David Cushley whose low drive went in at the foot of the post.
A low-key first period of extra time burst into life in the 101st minute when substitute Matthew Shevlin finish off a neat team move by clipping the ball over the on-rushing Farniok.
A minute later full-back Eoin Kane curled home a stunning finish and as the Championship side tired, within 60 seconds, 16-year-old Shevlin raced clear to fire home his second and Ballymena’s fourth.
Moyola Park: Farniok, McAllister, Harris, McQuillan, Kelly, Black (sub Waddell 97), Gallagher (sub Paul 81), McIlhatton, Dowie, Gray, Magill (sub Maguire 71). Subs (not used): McNamee, Bradley.
Ballymena United: Nelson, Kane, Hanley, Rodger, Taylor, Ferguson (sub Gawley 79), Faulkner, Tipton (sub Shevlin 65), Henderson (sub Millar 99), Jenkins, Cushley. Subs (not used): McNally, Quigg.
Referee: Ally Burns (Portadown)