Saturday 7 August 2021
Ballynahinch fall at the first hurdle
Ballynahinch United returned to competitive action after almost a year and a half delay due to Coronavirus.
The Blues travelled to Rathmore Grammar School to face Aquinas FC in the first round of the Steel and Sons Cup. Ballynahinch started brightly but took time to get used to the 4G surface. This cost them when Aquinas edged ahead after the United defence failed to clear their lines properly and the home team broke through.
United conceded a second in quick succession. An Aquinas midfielder was given time in the middle of the park and was able to chip a pass to their forward who squeezed an effort in at the near post past Stefan Graham.
Ballynahinch battled back and began to regain a footing in the tie. United pulled one back! Aaron Cheevers’ volley from the edge of the box found it’s way past the home team’s goalkeeper. Scott Cheevers, Robbie Hagan and Taylor Graham continued to apply pressure from out wide while Jack Forbes came close to equalising before the break.
Scott was replaced at Half Time by Jonny Shannon after picking up a knock. Ballynahinch started where they ended at the break and the substitute drove forward from midfield. Jonny’s long-range effort almost levelled the scores but crashed off the crossbar instead.
Gavin Crawford and Alan Dickson continued to work hard in midfield to keep possession while Jordan Patterson and Stuart McMullan kept it tight at the back, marshalled by Scott Brashaw. Unfortunately, United were unable to find an equaliser before Aquinas nicked a third when a hard-driven cross came off Stuart’s head and deflected into the net to make it 3 – 1.
A fourth soon followed after a mix up in defence with United trying to play it out from the back on the 4G surface. Ross Murray and Ian McMullan were introduced but were unable to turn the tide or help the team claw back the deficit.
Overall, United’s performance warranted a better scoreline than the final result.
Next fixture – 14 August: Ballynahinch United vs Greenisland FC (Irish Cup)
Aquinas FC 4 â€“ 1 Ballynahinch United
|Competition:||Steel and Sons Cup|
|Ground:||Rathmore Grammar School (4G)|