Match Report: Ballynahinch United 1 v 1 Colin Valley

United played their first home match at Millbridge in over two months last Saturday on a pitch that was just about playable and one that the players aching limbs will not forget in a hurry. The visitors Colin Valley are playing in Division 1B for the first time this season having been promoted last year and to date they have acquitted themselves very well. From the outset it was obvious that United would have their hands full and so it proved to be.

The slick passing and movement of the visitor’s forward line caused the United defence of Alex Miller, Ethan Majury, Ross Hayes, Dalton Tate and Stuart McMullan serious problems from the outset requiring their midfield colleagues Ben Wilson and Gavin Crawford to help out. Their efforts were thwarted however in the 8th minute when Colin Valley converted a superb move with Bryan McMullan given no chance from close quarters.

United stepped up a gear after this prompted by Scott Brashaw in central midfield and several chances were created for Aaron Cheevers and Stuart Hunter. Indeed Stuart Hunter was really unlucky when his header came off the crossbar and was scrambled away on the half hour mark.

In the second half manager Keith Hamilton reorganised his team with Scott Brashaw reverting to central defence and Gareth McMullan coming into the forward line and this game the home team a different dimension to their play. Dalton Tate who moved into central midfield had a great shot superbly saved by the Colin Valley keeper as the visitors defence came under increased attack. On the hour mark United were level when Gareth McMullan scored from the penalty spot after Stuart Hunter was brought down by the Colin Valley goal keeper when he was in on goal. The visitors rounded on the referee with one of their central defenders getting a red card for foul and abusive language while the keeper received a yellow card for foiling what was a clear goal scoring opportunity with not a single defender even close.

Despite playing with ten men the visitors continued to be very positive causing United quite a few problems and testing Bryan McMullan who made several good saves and interceptions. At the other end United added attacking options in Dee Stewart and Ian McMullan as they probed for a winner. Dee Stewart had the best opportunity when he got his head on a left wing free kick from Stuart McMullan but his effort was well saved. At the end of the day both teams will have been happy enough with the draw.