Ballynahinch United travelled to Poleglass to take on fellow strugglers Colin Valley at Valley Park. Both teams started the game without a win in 1B this season.
The away side pushed for an opener but were unlucky not to go ahead when a cross to the back post for Ian McMullan who headed it back across the six yard box but strike partner Stuart Fitzsimons was unable to bundle the ball over the line.
Colin Valley soon fought their way back into the game and found their stride before breaking the deadlock.
The home team doubled their lead shortly after when Alan Patterson hung a leg out and invited the Valley winger to win a penalty, which he duly accepted. The referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Valley went onto score the penalty.
Stuart Fitzsimons had a few chances for Ballynahinch before the end of the half. One went narrowly over the bar, while the CV goalkeeper made a good save for the other. Good play between Stuart and Gavin Crawford just inside the box saw Stuart brought down, Gavin with the ball at his feet attempted to round the goalkeeper who was able to claw the ball away for a corner. “I played the advantage.” Said the referree, despite a penalty being much more advantageous than the chance that was presented, and prevented.
The half ended 2 – 0 to the hosts.
Ballynahinch returned after the break eager to make amends for a poor first half, but were up against it when a Colin Valley free kick was launched to the back post to two blantantly offside attackers, one of which was able to swivel inside the box and find the back of the net. Despite the protests from the defence, the referee awarded the goal – from his position outside the box, diagonally facing the play.
The referee had another say in matters soon after. Following a weak effort from Ian McMullan, Valley launched a long ball forward which found a Valley wide man in another offside position, his final ball was finished off by a Colin Valley forward to make it 4 to the home team. Despite the protests again, the referee gave the goal, again. A Colin Valley spectator inline with play even disagreed. If VAR had been involved it wouldn’t even have been need, it was that obvious.
With 20 minutes to go, an aggrieved Ballynahinch continued to press forward. A throw from the left was launched to Ian McMullan just inside the box who was pushed to the ground from behind. The referee gave a free kick, outside the box. The set piece resulted in nothing.
Continuing to push for a goal, United won a corner. The ball was whipped in and after a failed headed clearance dropped for Alex Burtney. He caught it sweetly on the volley which clipped the inside of the post and into the net.
Encouraged, United hassled and harried a increasingly furious Valley side who had also been aggrieved by numerous referee decisions.
Ballynahinch soon worked another opening, with Ian McMullan running into space behind the Valley defence. As he got to the ball, a defender chasing back caught him and sent him tumbling to the ground.
The referee awarded the seconded penalty of the game, which Burtney slotted home. 4 – 2.
Unfortuantely, it was too little, too late for United. And despite attempting to create a number of openings, the game finished 4 – 2.
Colin Valley 4 – 2 Ballynahinch United
|Goalscorer:||Alex Burtney (2)|
|Competition:||NAFL Div 1B|
Ballynahinch United will be looking to make amends this weekend against former player and manager John Jones, who is charge of 18th Newtownabbey.
Drumaness Mills 4 – 0 Ballynahinch Swifts
|Competition:||NFU Bobby Dalzell Cup
|Ground:||Drumaness Council Pitch|
Ballynahinch United Swifts return to NADAFL Division 1 action this Saturday, away to Ballyvea IIs.