Ballymena United 1 Cliftonville 1
(After extra-time United won 4-3 on penalties)
Ballymena are through to the next round of the Irish Cup after seeing off Cliftonville 4-3 on penalities at the Showgrounds after the game had ended 1-1 after extra-time.
Leroy Millar, Cathair Friel,Tony Kane and Allan Jenkins all scored from the spot for the Sky Blues, while David McDaid, Jay Donnelly and Tiaran mcNicholl all scored from the spot for the Reds.
United will now face Harland & Wolff Welders in the Sixth Round.
In normal time Tony Kane had given United the lead before missing a penalty before the Reds leveled through Ross Lavery. The game then to extra-time before United won on penalties.
Ballymena got off to the perfect start as Kane scored his 15th of the season in the fourth minute to give United a 1-0 lead. Kane curling a free-kick over the wall and into the net after a foul on Jonathan McMurray.
It was the start the Sky Blues would have been looking for after Tuesday night’s 4-3 defeat to Glenavon when they conceded their first goal after 56 seconds.
The Reds nearly leveled in the 14th minute - butLavery hit the post following a corner. It was a lucky escape for the home side.
United had another chance in the 16th minute from a Jim Ervin cross. Leroy got to the ball but his header was deflected over.
United’s McMurray tried his luck from 35 yards in the 22nd minute. His effort however was just off target with Reds keeper Peter Burke caught off his line.
The Reds upped the pace but so far they lacked a cutting edge.
United were then awarded a penalty in the 36th minute as McMurray was pulled down by keeper Burke.
Kane stepped up and after 12 penalty successes in a row Burke saved his attempt and it was still 1-0 and the travelling support were in full voice.
And a minute later United paid for that miss as the Reds leveled. A cross from the left being headed home by Lavery and it was game on.
United had the first real chance of the half in the 55th minute. McMurray ran at the Reds defence and his left foot effort hit the post with Burke watching on.
Willie bFaulkner went close for the Sky Blues in the 60th minute. He however shot over when well placed but United were well in contention.
The Reds came close in the 66th minute. David McDaid got away from the clutches of Kyle Owens. He found Lavery who shot over.
McDaid then tried his luck with a free-kick in the 68 minute - but it went straight at Glendinning in the United goal.
Both sides were pushing for the winner and Curran’s effort in the 78th minute was easily saved by Glendinning.
McMurray had another chance in the 82nd minute but he shot straight at Burke and neither side could make the breakthrough so 30 minutes of extra-time was on.
The first period of extra-time passed with incident as both sides failed to create anything worthwhile.
In the 112 minute the Reds Curran had a shot from the edge of the box that went wide.
Two minutes later Jay Donnelly shot for the Reds was saved by Glendinning as United seemed to be tiring badly.
Then with three minutes Donnelly had another chance but bis lob beat Glenndinning but missed the target and it was penalties.
Ballymena United: Glendinning, Kane, Owens, Taggart (Jenkins 77mins), Faulkner (McCloskey 89mins), Friel, Ervin, Millar, McMurray, Loughran, McCracken.
Subs not used: Blayney, Flynn, Lowry.
Cliftonville: Burke, McGovern, Ives, McGuinness, Curran, McDaid, Hughes (M Donnelly 79mins), Catney, Winchester (J Donnelly, 62mins), Lavery (McNicholl 85mins), Cosgrove.
Subs not used: Mooney, A Donnelly.
Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast).