opening opportunity of the game fell to Rangers forward Michael Smith on the third
minute, however he sent his low free-kick from 25 yards past the post.
then went close again soon after, flicking the ball just wide of the upright
from a Reece Neale corner-kick.
the other end, the lively Robbie Hume delivered a cross to Joshua McIlwaine who
header well wide of Aaron Hogg’s goal.
the 18th minute, United broke the deadlock. A corner from Aaron
Arkinson picked out McIlwaine who this time made no mistake with his header,
directing into the bottom corner to open the scoring.
striker Ryan Campbell then looked to double the Mallards’ lead, but Hogg was
equal to his effort in the away goal, holding the shot.
Anderson then tested ‘keeper John Connolly from outside the area, with the
shotstopper gathering the shot.
Surgenor then replaced Chris Rodgers after 27 minutes, the latter of the
players going off injured.
‘Gers had two final chances in the first half; Smith firstly flashed a low
effort past the post from inside the box before Daniel Kelly headed wide at the
near post from Smith’s cross, as Harry McConkey’s side took their lead into the
the start of the second half, Caolan Loughran replaced Kyle McCauley as the
East Antrim outfit re-shuffled their side.
minutes after the re-start, a corner-kick from Neale was met by the head of
Smith whose effort crashed off the crossbar before being cleared from the
goalmouth, in what was a golden opportunity to draw level.
McNeill then replaced Ryan Strain as the visitors’ final change of the evening.
McNeill made an instant impact as he threaded the ball through to Kelly whose
shot whistled past the post.
looked as if Ballinamallard had grabbed a second soon after as substitute Simon
Warrington’s cross from the right flank found Campbell who took the ball past
Hogg, only for the ‘keeper to get back in time and make an unbelievable save to
deny the frontman.
the end, it proved not to be Carrick’s night as the full-time whistle booked
United’s quarter-final place, with Niall Currie’s attention now turning to
another visit to County Fermanagh on Saturday, this time in search of league
Rangers: Hogg; McCauley (Loughran, 46), Houston, Rodgers (Surgenor, 27), Neale;
Anderson, Kelly; Nixon; Chapman, Smith, Strain (McNeill, 67).
Unused substitutes: McDermott, Coyle.