United travelled to Ballywalter for their next league game.Continue reading Match Report: Ballywalter 0 – 2 B United
Ballynahinch United travelled to Bangor Amateurs for the Border Cup first round tie.Continue reading Match Report: Bangor Amateurs 4 – 3 Ballynahinch United
Ballynahinch United landed at Aircraft Park for their first league game of the season.Continue reading Match Report: Shorts FC 2 – 2 Ballynahinch United
United entertained NAFL Division 1B promotion contenders Barn United at the Millbridge last Saturday. Having taken four points from two games against Grove and Barn a few weeks ago United were anxious to bounce back from a disappointing home defeat the previous week to Portaferry.
It was the visitors who started the strongest and despite the loss of their leading scorer during the week to Premier League side East Belfast they looked like a very accomplished outfit that moved the band around with ease. Unitedâ€™s defensive line-up of Davis, Brashaw, Patterson and Dickson had their work cut out from the start with returning goalkeeper Hagi [Michael Vladeanu] making several excellent saves. It took about ten minutes before the home team were able to get a decent attack together however they almost scored when having been awarded a free kick outside the penalty area David Kellyâ€™s shot ricochetâ€™s off the Barn wall and struck the base of the post. After this United forced a number of corners through the tenacity of midfielders Allison, Kelly, Crawford and Stuart McMullan and the intelligent runs of Ross Murray and Ian McMullan. In the 20th minute this hard work was rewarded with a goal when a defender under pressure from Crawford at a corner headed into his own net.
Barn laid siege to the United goal for a period of time after this but could not get a breakthrough and from a breakaway the Barn goalkeeper brought Stuart McMullan down and David Kelly scored the resultant kick to make it 2-0.
In the second half United toiled to preserve their lead with substitutes Burtney, Fitzpatrick and Hill joining the fray to add much needed energy. Both Ian McMullan and Corey Fitzpatrick had excellent opportunities to score in one on one situation but they failed to do so.
Barn scored in the 87th minute to make it a very difficult closing period however United held on to claim a deserved three points on a day when most of the so called strugglers also achieved victories.
This Saturday there is a break from league action when United entertain one of Northern Irelandâ€™s most famous clubs Chimney Corner in the 1st Round of the Junior Cup. While they are no longer the force they once were they will nevertheless give United a tough game. The kick-off is at 1.30pm.
United entertained Grove United in this NAFL Division 1B league match and yes if you had to have a second look at the score line, yes United did win and convincingly at that.
United have not had the best of seasons so far following the loss of a number of senior players who have chosen to play elsewhere however the club still retain a cadre ofÂ players who along with a strong group of young players have been working very hard to reverse the clubs fortunes. While Rome wasnâ€™t built in a day manager Alan Davis and his assistant Paul Allison will have seen very positive signs from this performance.
Right from the start United were on the attack with a strong wind in their backs and on 15 minutes David Kelly waltzed through the visitors defence to slot the ball past the advancing keeper. On twenty minutes, team captain Gavin Crawford pounced on a loose ball to drive the ball into the Grove net from twenty-five yards.
Grove, despite going behind proved to be a constant threat and the United defence of Paul Dickson, Alan Patterson, Scott Brashaw and Jack Davis had to be on their toes while keeper John McMenamin blocked a number of shots to keep the visitors out. Ian McMullan and Ross Murray were proving to be a real handful for the Grove defence while the midfield of Stuart McMullan, David Kelly, Gavin Crawford and Gregg Allison worked tirelessly.
In the second half United faced an onslaught from Grove United however the defence held resolute with United having a number of forays forward and these proved to be productive when Ian McMullan scored a third on the hour mark after Stuart McMullanâ€™s shot had come back off the crossbar. This took the pressure off somewhat however the visitors continued to cause problems particularly in midfield. The introduction of substitutes Ben Wilson, Alex Burtney and John Hill gave United extra energy to exploit defensive spaces that were created as Grove pressed for a goal. Unitedâ€™s fourth came when Alex Burtney found space on the left side of the penalty area and while his initial shot was saved he passed the ball across the six-yard area for Gregg Allison to side foot home.
There was a universal sigh of relief and justified excitement amongst players, management, committee and supporters alike when the final whistle was sounded. While there are many hurdles to be overcome throughout the season, this performance, if it can be repeated on a more consistent basis gives more than a glimmer of hope.