St Patricks YM 4 v 2 Ballynahinch United

United travelled to the Olympia Leisure Centre for this league encounter against top three side St Patricks YM on their all-weather surface.

It was the home team, not surprisingly who were on the front foot from early on as they were used to the pitch however United, who like to play the ball on the ground soon adapted.

Having settled into the game it was disappointing that they fell behind after 12 minutes when some slack marking from a corner left a St Patrick’s player free to side foot the ball into the net.

United continued to play attractive football and it was no surprise when they equalised on the 15 minute mark. A good interception from Ross Hayes led to a long run from Scott Brashaw who exchanged passes with Lee Maxwell and Aaron Cheevers before the ball broke for Gareth McMullan to stroke it into the net. On 20 minutes United went head when Gareth McMullan got his second after a scramble in the penalty area. His hooked lob went over the home keepers head and dropped into the empty net.

The home team were level on the half hour mark when a cross from left to right wing was superbly headed into the net from the edge of the penalty area to give Brian McMullan no chance.

United were reduced to ten men when Davy Boal was dismissed for a second bookable offence moments after the equaliser. This was an extremely harsh decision as the opponent ran into the defender who had made no attempt to tackle him and could not possibly have got out of the way. It was disappointing to see the home team players and officials pressurising the referee to produce the second yellow card.

St Patricks went 3-2 ahead in the 35th minute through a headed goal after a prolonged goal mouth scramble.

In the second half United enjoyed long periods of possession and had a number of shots on goal from Crawford, Jackson, Kelly and Gareth McMullan but they were unable to get the break that their endeavour deserved.

All three substitutes, Ian Boal, Johnny Gibson and Ethan Majury were introduced early in the second period however it was the home team who got the only goal of the second half when a Brashaw clearance fell to one of their players to shoot home.

United never gave up and indeed never really looked like they were a player short as Aaron Cheevers, Stuart McMullan and Scott Brashaw worked tirelessly with the ball to create openings which unfortunately whizzed over the bar or wide of the post.

This Saturday United entertain Hillsborough side Downshire YM who have improved of late and who will provide difficult opposition.