Match Report: Ardglass 3rds 1 v 3 Ballynahinch United 2nds

A much changed Swifts travelled to Ardglass on Saturday after a few weeks off due to the adverse weather, that coupled with no less than 7 players missing due to injury and work commitments made it a difficult tie against a team that would provide a stern test.

The Swifts started brightly and were putting the Ardglass defence under considerable pressure, if it had not been for the experience of the Ardglass centre half partnership an early goal would of been a strong possibility.

The Swifts were patient in their build up play and waited for the right opportunity, aided by the defence who were firmly in control they were getting closer to breaking the deadlock with every attack. On the half hour mark a quickly taken free kick by Alan Massey caught the Ardglass midfield flat footed, Paul King received the ball and let a rasping shot go from 25 yards – such was the power in the shot the Ardglass keeper was lucky to save but could not hold onto it and the lively Jack Patterson made no mistake from 10 yards when the ball broke loose.

That goal gave The Swifts more confidence and with Bonner, King, McMenamin and McNeill in commanding form, McGreevy in nets had little to do.

A quick corner from Massey near the break saw him play a one-two and chip a ball onto the far post. A couple of last ditch tackles kept the score at 1 nil. But The Swifts would not be denied. Matty Manley’s smart free kick from the edge of the box caused considerable confusion and again Jack Patterson was in tip top form to smash the ball in.

A mere lapse in consentration just before the halftime whistle saw Ardglass gain a goal direct from a corner when The Swifts ought to have done better.

The Swifts had a clear vision of what was needed in the 2nd half and carried it out well. Bingham never missed a thing all day long and with the impressive Jack Patterson and Manley on the wings The Swifts were a constant threat. Indeed it was Manley on 70 mins who took a short corner to Massey who played the ball back to him, with a neat cross-field pass it was met by McMenamin on the volley for the goal of the game.

This was a good strong team performance from The Swifts who remain unbeaten this season, but with stronger tests on the horizon it will be all hands to the pump especially at home to Annalong this saturday.

Match Report: Newcastle 2 v 0 Ballynahinch United

United travelled to league leaders Newcastle for this league game and came out on the wrong end of a 2 – 0 score line.

Early exchanges between the two sides were even and the United supporters thought that their team should have had a couple of penalties when Paul Dickson was manhandled and bundled over and later on Ian McMullan was tripped as he ran into the penalty area.

The home team took the lead after 25 minutes from a corner when a shot from Brannigan was deflected into his own net by Dalton Tate. Early in the second half United were awarded a penalty when Stuart McMullan was fouled however the usually reliable David Kelly saw his shot well saved by the Newcastle keeper. This was a blow for the visitors as the momentum was moving in their favour and minutes later the home side were 2 – 0 up again from a corner.

The United players allowed their attention to be deflected by a disagreement with the referee over what they thought was an offside decision that he hadn’t given in the build-up. Newcastle took the corner and Gribben was left unmarked to head home.

Manager Keith Hamilton threw on all three of his substitutes Greg Allison, Jack Patterson and Ethan Majury to get back into the game but it was too late as Newcastle defended sternly to remain at the top of the Division 1B league table.

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.