“Romas go home” was daubed on a wall near Ballymena town centre.
Cliftonville boss Barry Gray says Ballymena will pose a “really big challenge” when the league’s two in-form teams meet on Saturday.
Crusaders twice come from behind to beat Glentoran 4-2 and progress to the semi-finals of the League Cup, while Ballymena reach the last four with a late win at Ards.
Four men, one of them armed, hold up a County Antrim petrol station.
Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey praises table-toppers Glenavon ahead of Friday night’s meeting at the Showgrounds.