Match report: Cloughey II 1 – 3 B Swifts

Ballynahinch United Swifts made the long journey to Kircubbin to take on Cloughey II in the league with the pitch in great condition considering the weather of the previous week.

The game started in scrappy fashion with neither side taking full control but the Swifts grew into the game as the first half wore on with Cameron McKissick, Naseem Ouldhamlat and John Stevenson unable to convert some half chances.

They almost took the lead on 25 mins after a mazy run by Naseem saw the ball break to edge of the box for Gareth Bingham to hit but his well-struck shot was deflected over.

The deadlock was broken after 33 mins when Bingham played in John ‘The Bird’ Stevenson who made no mistake by slotting home.

The Swifts tried to extend their lead in the remaining moments of the half but were thwarted by a resolute home defence.

Ballynahinch started the second half in a confident mood and doubled the lead with a superb finish from Stevenson after a brilliant cross field ball from Keith Hamilton. Stevenson brought the ball down and rifled home from wide left, just inside the box.

It didn’t take long for Cloughey to get back into it as they took advantage of a slip in the Swifts defence with their forward slotting past Stefan Graham in goal.

The home side were then reduced to 10 men when their forward was shown 2 yellows in quick succession. It took Ballynahinch a while to settle down after conceding and playing against 10 men.

Cloughey introduced their subs in a bid to change the game and find an equaliser but it was United who would extend their lead when Naseem won and converted a penalty in the 73rd minute.

The Swifts defended resolutely to see out the game and were unlucky not add to their tally with good efforts from Will McNeill and Luke Craig hitting the side netting.

Bingham should have converted late on from a corner but didn’t get enough on it.

An impressive and hard fought win in the road for the Swifts who will be hoping for something similar away to Ballyvea next week.

Apache Pizza Ballynahinch Player of the Match: John Stevenson

Line up: Stefan Graham, Will McNeill (Matthew Tate), Stephen McNair, Chris Coleman, John McMenamin [C], Keith Hamilton, Naseem Ouldhamlat, Gareth Bingham, John Stevenson (Ryan Rooney), Cameron McKissick (Luke Craig), Jamie McNeill.

The First Team had no fixture due to The Millbridge pitch suffering from flooding.

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