There were 21 goals across the six games played on Tuesday evening as Linfield, Crusaders, Glentoran, Glenavon, and Coleraine made it two wins from two. Earlier in the day, Glentoran announced the signing of striker Robbie McDaid, the former Glenavon, Leeds and York man returning to Northern Ireland to sign for the club his father represented in the 80s.
Ards 0-2 Linfield
The Blues rode swiftly into action and secured the three points before the half time break. Mark Haughey opened the scoring on 19 minutes showing finesse befitting of a striker as he controlled the ball and finished from close range after a Kirk Millar free kick. Nine minutes later the tie was effectively settled when Kirk Millar stooped to head in from a Paul Smyth cross. The Blues put in a strong performance to see out the rest of the game.
Carrick Rangers 1-1 Ballymena United
It was a goalless first half at Taylor’s Avenue as the Braidmen came to town. It was the away side who broke the deadlock 8 minutes into the second half when Carrick’s Denver Gage, former Ballymena player, knocked the ball into his own net from a Tony Kane free kick. Carrick fought back well and had their equaliser on the hour mark when Andrew Mooney raced clear of the Sky Blues’ defence to place the ball beyond Ross Glendinning in the Ballymena net. Carrick had the chance to secure the win when they won a penalty six minutes later but Ben Roy put the ball wide of the net. A draw meant both sides won their first point of the season.
Coleraine 2-0 Cliftonville
Cliftonville fans were left wanting more after a salivating goalscoring display on Saturday, sadly they came away from Coleraine empty handed as the Bannsiders struck twice in the second half to secure three points. Josh Carson opened the scoring on 50 minutes when the ball was cut back to him on 6 yards, the former Ipswich and York City midfielder made no mistake in side footing home to make it 1-0 to Coleraine. Carson turned from scorer to provider for Coleraine’s second as he dispossessed Levi Ives to play through Jamie McGonigle who fired the ball in at the far post for 2-0.
Crusaders 5-0 Warrenpoint Town
Crusaders made easy work of Warrenpoint as they look to set their stall out early for the season ahead. The Hatchetmen had five different goalscorers with Jordan Owens starting things off early on before Paul Heatley doubled their lead before 10 minutes had been played. Crues fans were not left waiting long for their third when Jordan Forsythe finished what was essentially their third attack of the night. Gavin Whyte made it 4 from the penalty spot on 37 minutes before substitute Michael Carvill scored the fifth in the second half.
Glenavon 6-2 Ballinamallard United
Glenavon came from behind to complete this demolition job on the travelling Mallards. Ryan Curran started things off on 28 minutes when he was fouled in the box, he dusted himself down to put away the spot kick to give Ballinamallard the lead – his second penalty in two games. Within minutes Rhys Marshall equalised for the Lurgan Blues, assisted by new signing Andrew Mitchell. 7 minutes into the second half Glenavon took the lead through Adam Foley who then added a third shortly after. A fourth followed shortly after as last season’s top goal scorer Andrew Mitchell opened his account for the season. Adam Foley grabbed a hat-trick to give Glenavon a fifth as Ballinamallard looked to be sinking without a trace. Ryan Curran gave the away side a glimmer of hope on 72 minutes as he brought the score back to 5-2 but Andrew Mitchell wrapped things up in the final minutes with his second of the night to finish off a well-deserved victory for the Mourneview side.
Glentoran 2-0 Dungannon Swifts
New signing Robbie McDaid was introduced to the crowd before the game kicked off and Glens fans may be forgiven for thinking that would be the highlight of their night after a dull opening 45 minutes. The home side may have been the marginally better side in the first half but the failed to find any sort of cutting edge. The returning John McGuigan finally put the home fans at ease on 52 minutes as he reacted well to finish from close range and give Glentoran a 1-0 lead. Curtis Allen finished the scoring for the Oval outfit on 71 minutes when he struck home a left footed finish, his third of the season so far and thankfully no controversy around this one!