NAFL League Division 1b
2 November 2013
Holywood FC 1 Ballynahinch United 2
United travelled to Seapark, Holywood, for this league encounter last Saturday against a local side that has been struggling yet producing the occasional shock result writes Gilbert Cromie.
While confidence was high amongst the United squad following their superb victory over Drumaness Mills, the absence of four regulars, Hayes and Cheevers who were unavailable and Davy Boal and JJ Carlisle who were suspended, was a cause for concern amongst the supporters.
Manager Keith Hamilton had to rejig his defence with Ethan Majury and Ian Boal coming in to join Scott Brashaw. In midfield David Kelly was joined by Lee Maxwell, Ian McMullan, Gavin Crawford and Stuart McMullan. Up front duo Johnny Gibson and Simon Jackson would prove to be a constant thorn in the flesh with their direct running.
United dominated possession for most of the game but they did not really create a great deal of openings primarily due to a hard working Holywood defence.
United’s big break came midway through the first half when they were awarded a penalty however the usually reliable Ian Boal hit the outside of the post.
The home side had a number of excursions into the United penalty area but their defence and goal keeper Brian McMullan dealt with everything competently.
A much different United came out in the second half and in a short period of time they were 2-0 up thanks to goals from forward duo Simon Jackson and Johnny Gibson.
It looked as if United would coast to victory but the home team scored a goal in the closing stages of the game. United introduced Greg Allison, Jay Smyth and debutant Nathan Farquhar and with a determined effort they held their lead to take all three points.
Ballynahinch United 2nd 3 Kirkistown 5
The Swifts entertained Kirkistown in this league encounter at Millbridge.
An early goal from Kirkistown was equalised by an Aaron McCaffrey header from a Glynn Robinson free kick. Ross Bingham had a good opportunity to score but he miskicked in front of goal.
The visitors scored two quick goals to take a 3-1 half time lead and another two goals early in the second half seemed to put the game at 5-1 out of the reach of a much changed Swifts team.
However, a couple of goals late in the half from Allan Massey (penalty) and a second from Aaron McCaffrey brought about a comeback that had the Kirkistown team reeling however they managed to hang on.