Irish Cup sixth round: Linfield 1-2 Ballymena Utd

Ballymena knock Linfield out of the Irish Cup thanks to a 2-1 win

Goals from Allan Jenkins and David Cushley helped Ballymena United to a shock 2-1 Irish Cup sixth round win over Linfield at Windsor Park.

Visiting captain Jenkins headed home strongly at the far post from a David Cushley corner in the 25th minute.

Philip Lowry's close-range finish from a Mark McAllister cross after 35 minutes restored parity.

Cushley's fine right-foot first-time finish from a Darren Boyce delivery on 66 minutes proved to be the winner.

Ballymena had Cushley and Jenkins back in their line-up after serving one-match suspensions, while defenders Aaron Stewart and Mark McCullagh were also included as the Sky Blues set out to frustrate their opponents' attacking intentions.

The hosts made the better start and Mark McAllister just failed to make contact with a Michael Carvill cross from the left.

Jamie Mulgrew had a shot blocked and then Mark Haughey headed straight at the goalkeeper.

Boyce saw an effort superbly tipped over the bar by Jonny Tuffey, but Jenkins scored from the resulting corner.

Billy Joe Burns fired wide before Lowry flicked the ball into the net 10 minutes before the interval.

Good work by Gary Thompson helped to set up Boyce, who crossed for Cushley to finish superbly on the half-volley for his 13th goal of the season.

Soon after, Boyce found himself through on goal but he was unable to lob Tuffey in the Linfield goal.

United survived a late Linfield onslaught as Matthew Tipton had an effort tipped over the bar by Aaron Shanahan and fellow substitute Ivan Sproule saw a right-foot shot strike the base of the post.

"We had lost to Linfield a few times this season so we put a plan together and worked it through with the players in training on Thursday night," said Ballymena manager Glenn Ferguson.

"This was the most difficult tie we could have had but, regardless of the opposition, the important thing is that we are into the last eight."