Match Report: Ballynahinch United 2nds 4 v 3 Killough 2nds (21/03/15)

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.

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 2nds 4 v 2 Annalong Rangers

This week The Swifts entertained Annalong Rangers at Langley Road. With a few players coming back after missing a couple of weeks through injury and work commitments they were looking forward to the game.

The early exchanges were frantic and untidy with both teams trying to get to grips with each other and the heavy surface.

It was The Swifts who struck first after great work from Jack Patterson on the right wing resulting in a throw in. Paul King came up from defence and delivered his trademark long throw, which was met at the back post by an accurate Gareth Bingham header that flew into the top corner.

The game was hotly contested in the middle of the park with McPhail making some timely challenges. Annalong forced a corner midway through the half and The Swifts failed to deal with it and it creeped in at the near post when it really shouldn’t have.

The Swifts were determined to get back in front and that they did with good work between Graeme McMullan and Dave Griffiths saw McMullan fire a shot in from the edge of the area to give the keeper no chance.

The Swifts now in control, had John McMenamin and Shaun Bonner letting nothing past them at the back with Scott McNeil making some decent runs forward down the left flank. This coupled with McGreevy in commanding form in-between the sticks gave The Swifts a solid base on which to attack.

And attack they did with Griffiths and Massey exchanging passes with Massey then releasing Gareth Bingham who beat his man and too fire in a low shot past the keeper to make it 3-1 at the break.

The second half was scrappy and the challenges were flying in from both teams. Ben Wilson, Matty Manley and Craig McMullan were introduced as subs and Wilson in particular gave the Annalong defence real problems.

After a couple of penalty appeals being turned down after fouls on Manley – Ben Wilson beat his man in the box and when about to shoot was brought down. The referee this time gave the penalty and Massey made no mistake from 12 yards to make it 4-2 after Annalong managed to pull a goal back to make it 3-2.

The Swifts were able to see out the remainder of the game quite comfortably to win 4-2. As seen today, competition is heating up for places and it’s important that the numbers increase at training to help the team continue their 8 game unbeaten start to the season.

Match Report: Ballykinlar Rec 2 v 3 Ballynahinch United 2nds

The Swifts continued their excellent unbeaten opening to the season with a hard fought victory away to Ballykinlar Rec.

Graeme McMullan gave the Swifts the lead with a superb drive from the edge of the penalty area after some hard work and an assist from Shaun Bonner.

Halfway through the first half the home side were reduced to ten men following a straight red card for a foul on Ross Bingham. However a resurgent Ballykinlar fought back to lead 2 – 1 at half time.

Playing against 10 men gave the Swifts the upper hand in the 2nd half and Gareth Bingham equalised with a header from an Alan Massey corner to make the score 2 – 2.

The hard working Ben Wilson continued his scoring run and made sure of the 3 points after a goalmouth scramble to fire the ball into the net.

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 2nds 3 v 3 Kirkistown 2nds

The Swifts entertained a strong Kirkistown side at Millbridge in their first home game of the season. Conditions were excellent for free flowing football on a well-manicured pitch and the small band of spectators was well entertained.

It was the visitors who scored the first goal when their centre forward shot home after some good work to get ahead of the Swifts central defenders leaving Johnny McGreevy with no chance of saving a well struck shot.

The home side soon got into their stride and having missed a good opportunity in the 15th minute teenager Graeme McMullan didn’t miss in the 20th when he stroked the ball home after good work by Ross Bingham.

In the 25th minute another teenager Matthew Manly gave the Swifts the lead when he picked up a loose ball in the penalty area and shot home.

The Swifts defence of McNeill, King, Bonner and McMenamin were constantly under pressure with midfielders Wilson, Massey, Manly and McPhail combining with them to keep the Kirkistown attack at bay.

In the second half Kirkistown started strongly and equalised after 55 minutes and then went 3 – 2 ahead in the 70th minute. The Swifts introduced David Griffiths and Alan McMullan into the fry and from the right wing Graeme McMullan crossed for Matthew Manly to head home the equaliser.

This was a hard fought game with both teams intent on attack and a draw on this occasion was the fairest result.

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 2nds 3 v 0 Tollymore 2nds

The Swifts welcomed Tollymore 2nds to Millbridge for this league encounter and the home side secured a valuable three points against a dogged team who scrapped throughout. Fielding only ten men in the opening half hour, Tollymore found themselves 2-0 down. The first goal came on twelve minutes through a converted penalty from Aaron McCaffrey following a hand ball in the penalty area. The second goal came on the half hour when teenager Graeme McMullan poked the ball home following a goal mouth scramble.

Tollymore were up to full strength after this and they came more into the game but the Swifts defence of Ross Bingham, Scott McNeill, Paul King and Shaun Bonner were able to hold firm to give keeper Johnny McGreevy a fairly easy afternoon.

The Swifts midfield quartet of Alan Massey, Gareth Bingham, Matthew Manley, Graeme McMullan and in the closing stages Stuart Wilcox saw plenty of the ball but failed to create opportunities for forwards Johnny Stevenson, until he came off injured, and Aaron McCaffrey who both worked hard.

The introduction of Jack Patterson before half time gave the Swifts a real impetus as the young player with pace to burn stretched the Tollymore defence. The Swifts third goal came midway through the second half when Patterson won a race for a loose ball and he flicked it past the on rushing keeper and into the net.