Match Report: Ballynahinch United 1 – 1 Portaferry Rovers

Ballynahinch United welcomed Portaferry Rovers to The Millbridge for the opening game of the Northern Amateur Football League Division 1B season.

Rain sprinkled over the freshly cut grass as teams prepared for kick-off. But it didn’t put off the spectators as fans from both sides lined the perimeter of the pitch, eagerly anticipating the start of the new season.

Continue reading Match Report: Ballynahinch United 1 – 1 Portaferry Rovers

Match Report: Ballynahinch United 6 v 1 Groomsport (01/09/18)

A sun drenched Millbridge hosted a Border Cup first round tie against Groomsport who were visiting the ground for the second time in a fortnight. Manager Glynn Robinson went into the game without at least half a dozen regulars and he also chose to give full debuts to teenagers Conor Graham and Johnny Shannon leaving another three regulars on the bench. Also making his debut was goalkeeper Niall Tyndall whose handling was excellent throughout.

The early exchanges were fairly even however United started to dominate creating numerous openings through the efforts of Greg Allison on the right and Alex Burtney on the left. In central midfield Gavin Crawford and Jordan Hayes worked tirelessly while the new but very effective defensive line out of Johnny Shannon, Conor Graham, Ben Wilson and Davy Boal looked solid. Having spurned a number of decent scoring opportunities which included several excellent saves by the visiting keeper United took the lead on 25 minutes when Ian McMullan tapped in from close range following a goal mouth scramble.

On the half hour mark United were awarded a penalty when Johnny Stevenson was bundled over. The big striker dusted himself down and took the spot kick however it was well saved by the Groomsport keeper down to his right hand side.

Five minutes later Groomsport broke on the right wing and although their forward looked offside he smashed a shot past Tyndall to make the score 1 – 1 at half time.

Early in the second half manager Glynn Robinson made a few planned substitutions bringing Alan Patterson on in defence and Jack Davis in midfield.

In the 55th minute Ian McMullan ran onto a pass from Stevenson and slotted the ball into the net. Minutes later Jack Forbes was brought into the action and he pounced on a loose ball to head the ball into the net to make it 3 – 1.

On the hour mark it was 4 – 1 as Ian McMullan got his hat trick when he intercepted a back pass to run past the keeper and slot the ball home.

Jack Forbes, Jack Davis and Alex Burtney were making a nuisance of themselves across midfield as they latched onto clearance after clearance feeding numerous passes into the penalty area.

Forbes got his second goal when he and Stevenson combined for the latter to fire the ball into the net form ten yards and the hard working Stevenson got a deserved goal when he ghosted into the penalty area to take the ball past the tackles of several defenders to shoot home.

The score line of 6 – 1 was a deserved result for the home side who worked tirelessly throughout. Groomsport never gave up at any time and played some neat football at times.

There is no match this week due to the Northern Ireland International so the next action is expected to be on Saturday 15th September.

Match Report: Barn United 2 v 2 Ballynahinch United

United travelled to Carrickfergus for this league encounter following their first win of the season the previous week. Barn United are currently positioned in the top four in the division so this would prove to be a stern challenge. The early exchanges were fairly even with United’s rear guard of Jack Davis, Alan Patterson, Scott Brashaw and Paul Dickson defending resolutely. In midfield Greg Allison, Gavin Crawford, David Kelly and Stuart McMullan kept possession of the ball whilst also preventing the home team from getting the ball to their dangerous forwards. Ian McMullan and Ross Murray worked tirelessly in their forward positions giving the Barn defenders little peace throughout the whole game.

United’s hard work was undone in the 35th minute when a Barn winger cut in from the left and ran across the penalty area before unleashing a shot which went into the net despite a great effort by John McMenamin to save it. Despite this set back United pressed forward and when they won a corner before half time Alan Patterson rose at the back post to head home Jack Davis’s superb delivery. The second half followed the trend of the first with the home team taking the lead again after 65 minutes through a slice of good fortune when a deflected shot crept into the net despite McMenamin clawing it onto the post in a desperate attempt to save it.

As United pressed for an equaliser the game opened up and the home team almost took a two goal lead however McMenamin pulled off a spectacular save to keep his team in it.

Manager Alan Davis introduced all three of his substitutes, Ben Wilson, Alex Burtney and Corey Fitzpatrick, in an effort to breathe new life into his team and it most certainly did the trick. Birthday boy Ian McMullan was the hero for United as he ran onto a through ball to crash the ball past the home goalkeeper to give United a deserved and hard earned point.

Next Saturday United entertain Portaferry in a league game at Millbridge.