Dunmurry YM 2 v 2 Ballynahinch United

United completed their away league programme on Saturday with an excellent draw against the second placed team Dunmurry YM.

The visitors started reasonably well and their early endeavour was rewarded with an excellent goal from Stuart McMullan. Things went a bit backward after this with Dunmurry YM dominating play with a strong breeze behind them and they equalised midway through the half and took the lead before half time from the penalty spot after Jay Smyth had pulled a forward back.

In the second half United had the majority of the play and they got an equaliser from Scott McKibbin who took a great pass from Ian Boal to thunder the ball into the net.

In the closing minutes Ian McMullan almost gave United all three points as he did the previous week but his shot just sailed over the crossbar.

This was a great performance by United with everyone making a contribution and particularly McCauley Foster who stepped into the shoes of the ever present Ross Hayes at the centre of the defence in partnership with Scott Brashaw.

Ballynahinch United 1 v 1 Dunmurry YM

United entertained Dunmurry YM at the Millbridge on Saturday in a league game. Encounters between these teams have traditionally been close and this one was no different.

United dominated the opening exchanges and should have been ahead however the underside of the crossbar came to the rescue of Dunmurry YM in the 10th minute following great work by McMullan while their keeper produced an outstanding save from an Adam Herron thunderbolt from the edge of the penalty area that looked goal bound all the way.

The home side were playing some great football however the lack of a goal to provide that extra bit of encouragement and the absence of new striker Steven Kennedy through illness was a disappointment for the large contingent of supporters who were looking forward to his home debut.

Defensively United were well organised with Davy Boal, Ross Hayes, McCauley Foster and Adam Herron dominating however it was the visitors who breached the United goal when a forward toe poked a loose ball into the roof of the net giving Brain McMullan no chance.

In the second half, United surged forward in search of an equaliser with Hunter, Brashaw and Smyth linking very well however the Dunmurry rear-guard were in no mood to give up their lead.

The introduction of substitutes Craig Bowman and Scott McKibbin together with a change of formation gave United a significant territorial advantage with Cheever’s getting more service and the forcing a number of corners.

Smyth who is one of the smaller players on the pitch almost scored in the 70th minute when he rose to head wide under pressure however the visitors did not learn their lesson and when McMullan sent over another well placed corner Jay Smyth was in the right place to head the ball into the net.

In the closing minutes the game became very open and McMullan in the United goals had to be at his best defending a number of well-placed free kicks while at the other end Ross Hayes almost won the game for United when he climbed above the Dunmurry YM defence to head goal ward but the keeper managed to grab the ball.

This was a hard earned point for United however they fully deserved it for the quality of their play and percentage of play.

Rathfriland Rangers 3 v 1 Ballynahinch United

United travelled to Iveagh Park, Rathfriland for this league encounter against the home side who are riding high and one of the favourites for promotion from Division 1B.

Last year United scored a superb away victory but despite a spirited display they could not do it again.

United played very well in the first half and were a shade unfortunate to go in at half time 2-1 down. The home side scored after twenty minutes but United equalised through Steven Kennedy on the half hour mark.

Rathfriland went into the break 2-1 up when they scored from a free kick in the closing seconds.

United toiled away in the second half in an effort to secure an equaliser but all was in vain against and experienced and well drilled home defence.

Rathfriland made sure of the points when they scored a third goal although it was somewhat contentious as most thought the player who laid on the pass to the scorer did so from an offside position.

This week United entertain Dunmurry YM in the league at Millbridge with a 2pm kick off.