Ballymena United’s youth team are preparing for the biggest game of their season so far this week.
Clifford Adams’ side take on St Oliver Plunkett in the semi-final of the prestigious IFA Harry Cavan Youth Cup at Seaview on Wednesday night (7.30pm).
Although the Belfast side play in the division below Ballymena, manager Adams will be wary of the threat posed by Plunkett, who accounted for Coleraine in one of the earlier rounds of the competition.
Ballymena have disposed of Armagh, Portadown and Glentoran in previous rounds and will be hoping for a big performance from the lads who will be battling for the right to meet Crusaders in the final.
United will go into Wednesday night’s match on the back of their first defeat in 13 games after losing 4-1 to Linfield at the weekend but, on the plus side, Adams will be able to add three more players to his squad for the semi-final clash.
Saturday’s game started at a frantic pace and after a bit of confusion at the back Linfield were gifted their opening goal on the fifth minute. Nixon was denied an equaliser after being played through by Jake McNeill only for the Blues keeper to pull off an excellent save.
On the 65th and 74th minutes Linfield added to their goal tally as the game began to get away from Ballymena but Scott Hamilton played in Stewart Nixon who slipped it past the keeper to pull a goal back with 12 minutes left.
The Sky Blues scored an own goal at the end to finish the game as a contest.