Pre-Match Guide | Ballymena United 04/03/23

We welcome Ballymena United to Dixon Park tomorrow afternoon for our Irish Cup Quarter Final fixture.

Match Info

When: Saturday 4th March – Kick-Off 3:00pm

Where: Dixon Park

What: Samuel Gelston’s Irish Whiskey Irish Cup Quarter Final

Entry: Pay at the gate – £12 (Adult) / £8 (Concession)

Match Sponsor: Simpson Developments

Ball Sponsor: Ballyclare CIP Insurance Brokers

The Opponents

Ballymena United currently occupy 7th position in the Danske Bank Premiership. The Sky Blues and Crusaders battled to a scoreless draw in an entertaining encounter at The Showgrounds last week. The sides traded chances in the opening quarter-of-an-hour with Philip Lowry nodding a cross just wide early on while, for United, David McDaid sent a couple of efforts at keeper Jonny Tuffey. Lowry did have the ball in the net around the half-hour mark only to see it ruled out by the officials. Billy Joe Burns then turned a curling shot just the wrong side of the post with Heatley then testing Jordan Williamson with a low shot. After the break both Heatley and Lowry threatened the home goal again before, midway through the second half, a Josh Kelly misplaced back header was pounced upon by Heatley only for Williamson to get enough of a touch to divert the ball wide. Williamson was then called into action again to deal with a 20-yard Lowry thunderbolt – before Tuffey was then forced to do the same to deny McDaid. Heatley might have snatched all three points for the Crues right at the end only for his low angled shot to be cleared off the line by Kym Nelson.

The Comrades

The Comrades clocked up a third successive league victory with a one-goal defeat of Dundela at Dixon Park last week. Scoreless at the break, the only goal of the game arrived nine minutes into the second half when Gary Donnelly’s free-kick from the left was headed past Sam Johnston by Conall McGrandles. The result keeps the Comrades in 6th position, 2 points ahead of Ards in 7th in the Lough 41 Championship.

Last Time Out

The last time these two sides met was in a pre-season friendly in July 2022 where the Sky Blues left Dixon Park with a 2-1 victory. This will be the first competitive fixture the two sides have faced each other in since 2018 where Ballyclare were defeated 3-0 away at The Showgrounds in The County Antrim Shield.