United entertained Mossley YM at Millbridge last Saturday and following what was a good day’s work they turned in a 3-0 win which gives if they repeat this performance in their remaining games they might just escape relegation.
This game burst into life in the 20th minute when Johnny Stevenson slammed home a shot from around the penalty spot during a scramble in the Mossley penalty area.
The visitors pressed for an equaliser but they created little and the defensive barrier of Davis, Patterson, Dickson and Stuart McMullan provided a platform for this victory given their straightforward approach to clearing their lines. John McMenamin provided a safe pair of hands in the goalkeeper position.
United’s midfield of Ian McMullan, Gavin Crawford, Ben Wilson and Scott Brashaw held the ball comfortably with Brashaw linking effectively with forwards Ross Murray and Johnny Stevenson.
In the second half United came out with a purpose not only to defend their lead but also to increase their it and it was teenager Ross Murray who as a constant thorn in the Mossley defence scored United’s second on 50 minutes when he smashed the ball home after good work by Stevenson. Crawford went close minutes later when he shot over after a serious bit of misunderstanding in the visitors defence.
On the hour mark Murray made it 3 -0 when the Mossley defence waited for an offside call against Stevenson however he had never made any attempt to go for the ball and the quick thinking teenager scampered onto the loose ball to coolly finish past the goal keeper.
Sadly the game got rather physical in the latter parts of the game and manager Alan Davis replaced a few of his senior players because of the danger of them being sent off such was the provocation being dished out. Greg Allison, John Hill and Ben Onuoha came into the game and played excellently to maintain one of the few clean sheets of United’ season so far.
Ballynahinch United Swifts secured a derby win against Drumaness when the two teams played each other at the Assumption playing fields on Saturday. A hat trick from Alan Massey and another from Craig Tate gave them a valuable three points.
The Swifts entertained Carryduff Athletic at Millbridge in a league game on Saturday and they were quickly into their stride on 5 minutes when Alan Massey struck a left foot shot which the Carryduff keeper failed to hold and it trickled over the goal line.
The 1-0 lead quickly became 2-0 after Aaron McCaffrey had chased a lost cause into the box and was brought down to gain a penalty. Up stepped Dylan Fitzpatrick to score his first senior goal with a well-placed shot.
The game settled down with Carryduff gaining more possession without causing the home defence much trouble while the Swifts continued with their pressing game and hunting down the ball. Defensively Alex Burtney and Ben Onhua were linking with midfielders, while Ross Hayes fresh from a family holiday made an instant partnership with Dylan Fitzpatrick to thwart a Carryduff team which had been in free scoring mode in their previous games.
Alan Massey and Gregg Allison set about testing the full backs and from such a run Allison had a fine shot saved while Massey tried his luck again with a long range shot which shaved the cross bar.
Johnny Stevenson who was making his first start of the season was leading the line well with Aaron McCaffrey who both did all they were asked to do by forcing errors and creating chances.
The 3rd goal came when a deep hanging cross from Greg Allison found Jack Davis to head home from 8 yards. Davis’s partner in midfield Corey Fitzpatrick was playing a pivoting role in breaking up play which enabled the Swifts to take a commanding 3-0 lead into the half time break.
Carryduff marshalled by former United defender Davy Boal took the game to the Swifts for the first 10mins of the 2nd half and despite all their pressure John McMenamin remained dominant in goal holding crosses as well as making some great saves.
Manager Alan Davis made his 1st change by bringing on the terrier like Craig Tate and within 2mins he found himself on the scoresheet as he sniffed out a rebound from a corner. Other shots from Davis tested the Carryduff keeper while a solo run from Allison almost created a fifth.
The 4-0 score line reflected a great afternoon’s work by all of the fourteen man Swifts squad.
Ballynahinch United held their annual dinner and awards presentation in the Primrose Restaurant on Saturday night.
Club Chairman Gilbert Cromie welcomed those present and thanked committee, players, supporters and sponsors for all their hard work during what had been a successful season for both the United and Swifts teams. The following awards were presented:
Managers Player of the Year: Gareth Bingham
Players Player of the Year: Graeme McMullan
Leading Scorers: Alan Massey / Graeme McMullan
Managers Player of the Year: Stuart McMullan
Players Player of the Year: Ethan Majury
Leading Scorer: Ian McMullan
Young Player of the Year: Greg Allison
Club Leading Scorers: Alan Massey / Graeme McMullan
The Golden Boot Award went to first team defender Davy Boal
The Swifts continued their excellent form and made it 4 games unbeaten with victory over a very good Strangford side at Millbridge last Saturday.
It was the visitors who were on the attack from the start and their early efforts were rewarded by a goal on 15 minutes when a shot was deflected into the net giving keeper Johnny McGreevy no chance. The early dominance of the visitors dissipated after the goal and their goal was besieged by the Swifts and five minutes later Gareth Bingham controlled a cross from Ben Wilson, swivelled and fired the ball across the keeper into the corner of the net.
Ten minutes later the home side were ahead when Graeme McMullan was bundled over in the penalty area and Alan Massey converted the spot kick.
After 35 minutes the Swifts led 3 – 1 when Bingham scored his second from a Graeme McMullan pass after the teenager had two shots blocked. The visitors pressed hard to get back into the game and got a goal back shortly before half time.
In the second half the game turned on its head as a fluent Strangford side, who are one of the best teams in the division, placed the Swifts defence under constant pressure. Scott McNeill, Paul King, John McMenamin and Shaun Bonner had to work overtime as wave after wave of attack came their way. Veteran Ian Blackwood entered the fray for the injured McNeill and they held out until the 70th minute when Strangford equalised.
Substitute David Griffith entered the fray and very shortly afterward he made an instant impact. Following good work from Matthew Manly and a through ball from Craig McMullan David Griffiths ran onto the edge of the six yard area where he was upended by the Strangford keeper. Referee George, who had a fine game, pointed to the spot and Alan Massey sent the keeper the wrong way to make the score 4 – 3.
The Swifts held on thanks to some stout defending and a few good saves from McGreevy to secure the three points. Strangford will wonder how they lost this game as the youthful side played some excellent football however their defending was suspect and contributed to their downfall.
This Saturday the Swifts entertain Rossglass County at the Millbridge in what will be a difficult assignment.
The Swifts who were fresh from a rip roaring 4 – 4 draw the previous week produced something similar at Millbridge on Saturday however they had to come back from 1-0 and 3-2 down to a Killough side that battled throughout.
The visitors took the lead after ten minutes but Graeme McMullan got them back onto level terms with a shot across the keeper into the net after good work from Jaimie McPhail who had been on the score sheet the previous week.
Skipper Alan Massey gave the home team a 2-1 lead from the penalty spot when Craig McMullan was brought down however Killough struck two quick goals to take a 3-2 half time lead.
In the second half the Swifts looked much more settled and with defenders Bonner, King, McMenamin and Craig McMullan marking tightly they limited the Killough sides scoring opportunities while keeper Johnny McGreevy’s handling was excellent.
Midfielders Bingham, Massey, McPhail and Manley enjoyed greater possession giving forwards Graeme McMullan and David Griffiths a number of opportunities.
The Swifts got level when a long range cross from Shaun Bonner was mishandled by the Killough keeper into his own net.
In the last half hour manager Davy Teggarty introduced Scott McNeill at right back and moved Craig McMullan upfront along with cousin Graeme and it proved to be the decision that would secure his team maximum points. Minutes later the Swifts were ahead when Craig McMullan was upended by the Killough keeper and Alan Massey fired his second goal and his team’s winner into the net.
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