BALLYMENA UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB || NORTHERN IRELAND
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Date: Tuesday, 31st July, 2012; Competition: Pre-Season Friendly; Attendance: n/a
BALLYMONEY UNITED [0] 0
BALLYMENA UNITED [2] 8
Venue: Raida Stadium (Ballymoney); Kick-Off: 7.45pm; Referee: Unknown
Goals:
[0-1] STEWART, Aaron (4 mins);
[0-2] McLELLAN, Michael (16 mins);
[0-3] FLEMING, Jamie (65 mins);
[0-4] CUSHLEY, David (67 mins);
[0-5] DAVIDSON, Jamie (70 mins);
[0-6] McLELLAN, Michael (75 mins);
[0-7] McLELLAN, Michael (78 mins);
[0-8] McLELLAN, Michael (86 mins)

BALLYMENA United went goal crazy at the Riada Stadium tonight as Championship 2 side Ballymoney United were swept aside in a scintillating display of attacking football.

The first goal came with just four minutes on the clock after a corner from the left hand side resulted in the ball ending up in the net via a combination of Aaron Stewart's nose and mouth! The second came soon after, when a cross from Jamie Davidson was slotted in by Michael McLellan (pictured).

United continued to press for the rest of the half and were unlucky not to make it 3-0 after a couple of David Cushley free-kicks and one rasping effort from 20 yards went wide. The tricky winger was having an inspired night and his link up play with Davidson and Michael McLellan was a highlight of the first 45.

Young midfielder Jamie Fleming entered the fray at half time for his first appearance in place of Gary Thompson.

Far from resting on their laurels, United came out for the second half like a steam train and really should have had a third after Michael McLellan had a goal chalked offside to the bemusement of all in attendance. Jamie Davidson was unlucky not to open his account for the evening when he burst through, only to shoot over from close-range. The young striker soon made amends when a sublime through ball was finished with aplomb by debutant Jamie Fleming on 65 mins.

Just 3 minutes later United made it four when Cushley tapped in at the back post after a pin point cross from the impressive McLellan. Soon after Cushley made way for Richard Vauls in Glenn Ferguson's second substitution of the night.

The score became five on 71 minutes when a surging run from Stewart resulted in a great cross to McLellan who found the in-form Jamie Davidson for his sixth goal of pre-season to date.

Michael McLellan was having an unforgettable night, and his performance stepped up a gear as the game neared its conclusion, despite missing a gilt edged chance from barely a yard, the predatory striker put it behind him to rifle home goal number six and his third from an acute angle. Number seven followed barely five minutes later after a cross from full back Michael Ruddy was headed home at the far post by the ace marksman.

The Northern Ireland U-19 International saved the best to last however, after a mazy run which appeared to take him past almost the entire Ballymoney side, he side footed home to rapturous applause from the travelling faithful. A truly remarkable performance from the 19 year old, who capped a superb night for the Sky Blues with an astonishing 4 goal haul.

A night that will live long in the memory for United fans and players alike,despite only being pre-season, the squad will no doubt already be looking forward to this Saturday's trip to Derriaghy.

Report by Jordan Miller.


Teams:
Ballymena United: Dwayne Nelson, Tony Kane, Michael Ruddy, Stuart McMullan, Mark Surgenor, Aaron Stewart, Gary Thompson (sub Jamie Fleming 54), Gavin Taggart, Michael McLellan, Jamie Davidson, David Cushley (sub Richard Vauls 68).