Ballymena United survived a scare on road to progress to the third round of the BetMcLean League Cup after a 4-2 victory over Annagh United.
Despite the difference in leagues, there wasn’t much to separate the two sides in an even first half. It took to within two minutes of the half-time whistle for the deadlock to be broken when Ballymena’s Conor Keeley reacted quickest to Ross Redman’s corner to rifle his side in front.
The defensively measured first half from both sides was undone by a goal-fest in the second. This started with the home side’s equaliser on 56 minutes as Jordan Campbell pounced on Craig Taylor’s long throw to level the scores.
Nine minutes later, Championship side Annagh United went in front via the penalty spot after McDonald had been upended - experienced forward Stephen Murray sending goalkeeper Sam Johnston the wrong way.
The lead lasted didn’t last long as Ballymena United earned a penalty themselves on 70 minute, which Paul McElroy duly converted.
With 15 minutes of the game remaining, David Jeffrey’s side showed their mettle and went back in front at the BMG Arena with Keeley rising to head home Ryan Waide’s cross.
In the closing stages, the Sky Blues all but assured their passage to the next round of the League Cup as Jude Winchester found space to finish well.
Annagh United: Hughes, McConville, Campbell, Norton, Murray, R. McDonald, Richardson, McCormack, Rogers, Upton, Moffatt subs M. Shortt (not used), Harpur (replaced R. McDonald 83), Henderson (replaced Norton 62), Duffin (replaced Richardson 46), Taylor (replaced McCormack 46), Kerr (not used), T. McDonald (not used)