Holywood 2 v 0 Ballynahinch United

United travelled to Seapark, Holywood on Saturday past for this league encounter and they came away with nothing despite a spirited display and having the major share of the play.

The conditions were quite difficult as the game was played on a heavy pitch with strong winds and rain throughout.

In the first half United played with the wind in their backs and down the slope and they really should have done much more with the possession that they had.

The Holywood goalkeeper had to be at his very best during the first half as he kept out efforts from Ian Boal who was playing in an unaccustomed but effective attacking role and a deflected header from a defensive colleague.

The home team were defending in numbers and found the referee in a somewhat generous mood as he failed to punish a few fouls in the early stages which effectively spoiled some of United’s attacking moves. Despite all their good build up play which centered around Hunter, Smyth, Stuart McMullan, McKibbin and Cheevers they just did not get the ball into the penalty area quick enough or when the chance came to shoot often enough.

Defensively Bowman, Hayes, Brashaw and McCauley Foster were able to deal with Holywood’s speedy forwards giving keeper Brian McMullan a relatively quiet first half.

It was obvious that United were going to get things difficult in the second half, particularly as the conditions deteriorated but in the early minutes it was United who were on the front foot.

Holywood took the lead after 55 minutes when United failed to clear their lines giving the home side a series of corners. The sequence of three corners that followed involved several outstanding saves from Brian McMullan however he could not do anything when a defender side footed the ball into the net from an unmarked position.

Soon after David Kelly was introduced into central midfield which he and Johnny Hunter dominated and with the introduction of Adam Herron and Ian McMullan United were attacking from all positions but again they could not get the equaliser. The best chance came when Bowman forced a great save from the Holywood keeper however he may have been better squaring it to Kelly who might have been in a better position.

The game was over for United in the 80th minute when Holywood scored their second however it was bad luck on them because the forward was clearly offside when he received the through ball.

United threw everything at Holywood in the closing minutes but they just didn’t create the scoring opportunities that would have led to a grand stand finish.

This week United entertain Temple Rangers in the much awaited and three times postponed Clarence Cup tie. The kick-off is at 1.30pm.

Ballynahinch United 2 v 2 Holywood FC

United entertained Holywood F.C. at the Millbridge on Saturday last and will have been disappointed not to have secured a win however being 2-0 down at half time they may well be happy enough with a point thanks to a brilliant second half comeback.

The home team were 2 – 0 down after the first 25 minutes when they conceded a penalty which was hotly disputed and a second goal through a very good header. United almost got one back before half time when Johnny Hunter hit the post.

In the second half United came out more purposeful and got a goal back when Johnny Hunter scored through a free kick on the hour mark. It would be another quarter of a hour before United got their equaliser when another Hunter free kick was headed into the net by Alan Patterson.

In the last minute the United supporters thought that they had secured all three points when Ian McMullan headed past the Holywood keeper however Scot McKibbin was adjudged to be offside as he put the ball over the line.

A great fight back from United was not enough to retain top spot in the league which was assumed by Rathfern Rangers.

This week United travel to Newcastle for their next league fixture.

Ballywalter Recreation 0 v 1 Ballynahinch United

United travelled to Ballywalter Rec on Saturday for a league fixture hoping to extend their unbeaten run to four matches.

The first half was dominated by United however they really created very little except for a header from Ian McMullan which went just over the crossbar. In the second half it was the home side who took up the running and but for a goal line clearance from Scott Brashaw and a couple of good saves from Brian McMullan they would have been behind. Gareth Bingham had one of the best of the second half scoring opportunities when his shot was well saved by the Ballywalter keeper. Just as the game seemed destined to be a scoreless draw Stuarty McMullan skipped down the left wing on 87 minutes and crossed to the back post and up stepped Craig Bowman to side foot the ball into the empty net.

These three points put United to the top of the Division 1B league table although they have played a few more games than their rivals.

This week they entertain Holywood at Millbridge.