Match Report: BUFC 1 – 6 Aquinas FC

NAFL Div 1B new boys Aquinas visited The Millbridge for the last of our midweek start of season fixtures. The visitors were fresh off the back of an 8-0 victory vs fellow 1B side Dundonald in the Steel & Son’s Cup.

At The Millbridge, the sun shone down during the warm ups and the rain that caused havoc earlier in the day didn’t appear too much throughout the duration of the game.

The Home Side started off well and caused the visitors some early problems on the wet grass. Ross Murray looked dangerous on the right but his tame effort was stopped easily by the Aquinas goalkeeper. The United front three worked hard and looked threatening anytime they went forward, fed by those behind them.

But it was the away team who finally broke the deadlock. Halfway through the first half, Aquinas had a corner cleared but the clearance was only returned wide to the original set piece taker. With room to turn and pick his cross, he found a free black and blue shirt arriving at the back post to make it 1-0 and bruise the confidence of the United side.

Not long after, Aquinas were able to double their lead. Ballynahinch should have been awarded a free kick, but the referee allowed play to continue and Aquinas capitalised. They broke beyond the midfield and slotted home from 25 yards leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

The half finished 2-0 and both teams trudged back in to the changing rooms to recharge and regroup.

The second half started well for United, with the home team on the front foot again. Unfortunately it didn’t last long and Aquinas took a rare chance and nicked a third.

Ballynahinch began to struggle with injuries and fitness in the final half hour. A gruelling work out vs Crewe United a few days before, and 5 games in 10 days for some of the squad began to take it’s toll. The changed red kit began to look like the Walking Dead.

However, coming off the bench, Gareth Bingham scored the best goal of the game. The veteran forward weaved between two defenders and picked out the top corner from outside the box to make it 4 – 1. Top Bins. Top Bings. But it was too late for BUFC to mount a comeback.

Another soft goal and a defensive mix up led to Aquinas’ 5th and 6th in the last few minutes to put the game beyond doubt. The referee soon called for full time.

A disappointing finish and a flattering scoreline, but United will regroup and look to pick up more points in their next league fixture. They return to The Millbridge on 24 August to face Mossley.

Round up

Ballynahinch United 1 – 6 Aquinas FC

Goalscorer: Gareth Bingham
Competition: NAFL Division 1B
Ground: The Millbridge,
Ballynahinch

Match Report: Crewe United 9 – 0 BUFC

Ballynahinch United travelled to Crewe Park, Glenavy in the first roynd of the Steel & Sons Cup. The winners of the tie would face either East Belfast or Bangor FC in the next round.

Before the game both sides lined the centre circle for a minutes silence to pay respects to former Crewe United player and manager, Tommy Breslin.

The place where Tommy Breslin learnt his trade as a boy and hung up the boots as man.

An early goal gave Crewe the initiative and set them on their way to a comfortable victory.

The Ballynahinch team were simply no match for the pace, power and movement of an excellent Crewe team that will go far in leagues and cups this campaign.

The weather reflected the game perfectly, goals rained in from all angles for the Crewe sides. Ballynahinch worked hard and wont be the only team to suffer a heavy defeat to this opposition, in fact, they have already won 7 – 0 this season. 

Round up

Crewe United 9 – 0 Ballynahinch United

Competition:Steel & Sons Cup
Round 1
Ground:Crewe Park,
Glenavy

Presentation to Ballynahinch War Memorial Fund

Prior to The Swifts kick off on saturday at the Millbridge, Club Chairman Gilbert Cromie made a presentation to Ballynahinch War Memorial Fund to Committee member Andrew Carlisle on behalf of the club. The Millbridge Grounds were originally provided as a recreational facility for Ballynahinch after the Great War.

Left to right - Ross Bingham, Gilbert Cromie [BUFC Chairman], Andrew Carlisle [War Memorial Committee] and Graeme McMullan.
Left to right – Ross Bingham, Gilbert Cromie [BUFC Chairman], Andrew Carlisle [War Memorial Committee] and Graeme McMullan.

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 3 v 0 Donard Hospital

United entertained old rivals Donard Hospital in this league match at the Millbridge last Saturday. The visitors had been promoted last year after a few years in Division 1C however they have found the higher level that little bit more difficult.

United settled into the game from the first whistle however it was Donard who posed a threat in the opening quarter with their right winger particularly prominent.

On one of their rare forward forages United took the lead in the 10th minute when Ian McMullan latched onto a loose ball to shoot into the corner of the net giving the Donard keeper no chance.

Donard pressed for an equaliser giving the United defence of Miller, Shaw, Majury, Tate and Stuart McMullan lots to think about however they held firm.

Goal scorer Ian McMullan was forced off with a hamstring strain and he was replaced by Johnny Stevenson who on the half hour mark laid the ball back for David Kelly to fire a thunderbolt into the net.

Kelly, Wilson and Brashaw were under a fair degree of pressure in midfield and they combined with their defence to keep Donard at bay while goalkeeper Brian McMullan produced an outstanding save in the 45th minute to prevent a goal.

In the second half Ben Wilson, who was struggling with an injury, was replaced by Gareth McMullan with striker Greg Allison moving into the left back role and Stuart McMullan taking over the central midfield position.

United were happy to surrender possession to Donard and played a containing game which proved very effective and occasionally they attacked with speed. It was from one of these quick breaks that defender Alex Miller found himself in space inside the penalty area and he crashed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 3–0.

Donard threw everything at United in the last half hour of the game and it took some serious defending to keep them out. Brian McMullan who has been in great form proved to be a competent last line of defence saving a penalty after Stuart McMullan had been harshly adjudged to have handled in the penalty area following a shot that was driven into him from relatively close range.

Graeme McMullan came on to give the United attack some added vitality and in the closing stages it was the home team who forced a series of corners.

This was another great win for United who will travel to Bloomfield this coming Saturday for another league match.

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 0 v 1 Dromara Village

Clarence Cup

The Millbridge was the setting for the first derby game between these two sides for quite a few years and while the football wasn’t very exciting there was no shortage of action as both teams ended the game with nine players.

United entered the game missing Adam Herron due to suspension and the unavailable Paul Dickson however they were buoyed by the return of Aaron Cheevers who transferred to United from Temple Rangers during the week.

The first half was keenly contested with neither of the two goalkeepers seeing any real action however the referee was very much the centre of things booking United players David Kelly, Ross Hayes and Ethan Majury and surprisingly no Dromara Village players despite an equal amount of fouls and confrontations.

United’s best chance came from Aaron McCaffrey whose spectacular overhead kick sailed over the Dromara crossbar.

The second half continued much the same as the first with both teams cancelling each other out however the referee intervened again on the hour mark when he gave Ross Hayes a second yellow card for a foul in the penalty area – an incident that was hotly disputed as any contact was as much due to the Dromara player jumping into the United players back.

The resulting penalty was taken by the Dromara goalkeeper Kieran Gordon but the weak effort was palmed around the post by Bryan McMullan. As a result of the red card, United’s defence had to be reorganised with Gavin Crawford joining Scott Brashaw in the central area with Majury and Davy Boal on either side.

United should have scored after seventy minutes when Dalton Tate and Stuart McMullan combined to put McCaffrey on the left wing and he cut in to cross the ball but the onrushing Ian McMullan couldn’t keep his shot down.

The game truly exploded in the 75 minute with three players, one United and two Dromara, being sent off following a foul on the edge of the Dromara penalty area. This resulted in United’s Davy Boal being set upon by at least half a dozen visiting players with fists and even what appeared to be a ‘Kung Fu’ kick. The referee could easily have sent a lot more players from the field for what was a most disappointing incident.

The only goal came in the 81st minute when Dromara broke away on the right wing and a low cross was palmed out by keeper Bryan McMullan into the path of Dromara forward Johnny Gray who diverted it into the net. This however was not without its controversy either as the ball came at Gray so quickly it hit his chest and then went into the net off his left arm. The referee was so far behind play he could not have seen it and so United’s fate was sealed and the Dromara players and large contingent of supporters celebrated their victory.

In the closing minutes United fought gamely to get back into the game but Dromara held out to go into the second round.