Ballynahinch United finally kicked off 2020 away to Bryansburn Rangers at the weekend, hoping to improve on their previous results.
Despite the cold weather, United started hot off the blocks and looked dangerous, with Johnny Stevenson holding the ball up well up front and Roy finding acres of space to run in on the right.
The opening soon came when United were awarded a freekick on the edge of the area. Burtney waved his magic left foot and smashed it under the wall into the corner to put the away side ahead. It was no more than they desrved.
Both teams continued to work hard and Bryansburn were presented a golden opportunity when Peter Russell’s back pass held up in soft, soggy pitch and was intercepted by a Red and Black shirted forward. He rounded Stefan, who had came out to try meet the short back pass, but the left footed effort sailed past the almost empty goal which was guarded by Scott Brashaw.
United still created opportunities of their own, with Ian McMullan heading wide from a corner.
When half-time came, United were the happier of the two sides, but were well aware of the continued hard work needed.
Bryasburn created a number of early chances in the second half, with Stefan Graham making a number of good saves, while other chances were spurned by the ‘burn forwards.
United managed to battle back into the game but were unable to find a second goal and then Bryansburn equalised!
A Bryansburn midfielder broke from the centre of the pitch and found the ball at his feet after a sliced clearance from the away side’s defence. The ball was smashed into the top corner from inside the box leaving Stefan with no chance.
That didn’t deter United however. They replaced Jonny Shannon, who had ran tirelessly all day, and Roy Shilliday with Ross Murray and Harry Bell providing some fresh legs.
United determined to grab a winner, utilised the pace of Burtney and Murray on the wings. Burtney torturing the full back, left him for dead on a number of occasions but couldn’t make the final ball count when it mattered, when, one such opportunity rolled towards Ross Murray inside the 6 yard box…
With the goal gaping, Ross placed it into the bottom corner, only for a miraculous block from a home defender diverted the effort out for a corner much to the devastation off all in Blue.
United threatend again from the corner but the effort from Corey sadly sailed over the bar.
Finally, with full time fast approaching and United still pushing for the winner, a Bryansburn clearance allowed them to break with United forced to foul on the edge of the box to prevent an effort at goal.
The resulting freekick found the top corner to give ‘burn the lead and to devastate the boys in Blue after such a good, hardworking performance.
And the referees whistle shrilled through the cold air to signal end of the game.
A devastating, undeserved defeat for Ballynahinch United.
Our next fixture is versus St Lukeâ€™s at The Millbroshe on 25 January.
Training continues at 7.30pm at Assumption Grammar School on Tuesday and Thursday in preparation.
Bryansburn Rangers 2 – 1 BUFC
|Competition:||NAFL Div 1B|
|Ground:||Ballywooley Playing Fields|
Ballynahinch United Swifts
Swifts 0 – 3 Drumaness Mills Reserves
Swifts entertained Drumaness Mills Reserves at The Millbridge, and despite hitting all sides of the woodwork and having an effort cleared off the line, found themselves defeated 3 – 0 after two goals in quick succession from the away team.