Match report: St Matthews 3 – 1 B United

Ballynahinch went to face league leaders St Matthews for the first time.

St Matthews, unbeaten, kept the ball well on the 3G pitch but United’s defence never looked threatened with Scott Brashaw and Chris Coleman holding strong, restricting the home side to long range shots.

Ballynahinch got a hold in the game and sustained a long period of possession which saw a well-worked move breakdown in the final third when St Matthews’ keeper collected the final killer ball.

After 20 minutes, the home side changed kit. Ballynahinch’s new kit of navy sleeves and sky blue middle looked almost identical to the home sides black sleeves and white middle. A yellow shirt arrived an hour after the initial kit inspection.

Regardless, the first half ended scoreless with United looking comfortable on and off the ball.

In the second half, a decisive counter attack after Ballynahinch’s own free kick proved to be the opener with a well taken finish.

A second quickly followed when the referee, who had let the game flow very well, gave a questionable free kick on the edge of the box. And the home side doubled their lead as a result.

United fought back and reduced the deficit after changes from Manager, Gareth King.

Sam Lurring and Chris hit the crossbar from the same corner before the ball was eventually scrambled over the line in a goal mouth debacle that Sam claimed. Even the referee was confused.

As United were beginning to push for the equaliser, a short back pass gifted the home side an opportunity to regain a two-goal leads which was duly taken.

In the end, it left Ballynahinch too much to do in the final minutes, in a game they possibly deserved more from.

Apache Pizza Ballynahinch Player of the Match: Stuart McMullan

Line Up: Stefan Graham [C], Greg Hall, Sam Lurring, Scott Brashaw, Chris Coleman (Patrick Harkin), Stuart McMullan, Thomas Rodgers (Luke Craig), David Kelly, Graeme McMullan (Jamie McNeill), Gavin Crawford, Robbie Lurring.

B United Swifts 0 – 4 Downpatrick II

Football finally returned to The Millbridge after a lengthy hiatus after heavy destructive flooding left the pitch and car park in tatters.

The pitch was playable thanks to the great efforts from our committed groundsmen and help from club members and to all those who provided sandbags including Premier Traffic, Morrow Contracts, Neville Rodgers, Cllr Johnny Jackson and Cllr Alan Lewis and to those who donated to ensure we could hire equipment to restore the pitch to a playable state and ensure the car park is fit for use.

However, it wasn’t the homecoming the Swifts were looking for when they fell to a four nil defeat to league leaders Downpatrick II.

The highlight of the game was when youngster Ethan Perkins, entered the fray to join his step-dad on the pitch for the Swifts.

Apache Pizza Ballynahinch Player of the Match: Michael Vladeanu

Line Up: Michael Vladeanu, Ryan Rooney, Stephen McNair, Will McNeill, Keith Hamilton, John Stevenson, Matthew Tate (Kian Connolly), Gareth Bingham, Diarmuid Lavery (Ethan Perkins), Liam Rodgers (Matthew Lindsay), Glenn Bennett.