Ballynahinch United In The Groove Against Grove


Division One

Ballynahinch United 3  Grove United 2

United went into this match on the back of a series of cup defeats and were anxious to get back on the winning trail in this league encounter writes Gilbert Cromie. 

dn_screenWhilst a number of the more experienced players were back in action the team was missing Paul Dickson and Craig Bowman through suspension, JJ Carlisle now off to University, Scott Brashaw and Gareth Bingham both unavailable whilst Gregg Allison is injured. The visitors who were quite a youthful team got off to a great start when they went ahead after one minute when a long cross from the right wing was headed into the net via the post. Things got worst inside ten minutes when a clearance broke kindly for their centre forward and he smashed the ball past Brian McMullan who had no chance of saving it.

The home team were shelled shocked and they really never got going and could on several occasions have fallen further behind had it not been for timely interventions from the defensive line up of Ross Hayes, David Boal, Ethan Majury and Craig McMullan and a number of fine saves from goalkeeper Brian McMullan.

The second half started poorly with United taking some time to get into the game until a positional changes were effected with Stuart McMullan moving to the left side of midfield and Herron to left back, The impact was almost immediate as United increasingly got on the attack however the visitors held resolute frustrating them until late in the game. McMullan and Herron were proving a handful on the left side and it was they who created the opening that led to United’s first goal and for which Grove paid a heavy penalty. In the 80th minute Aaron McCaffrey was put through by McMullan and he was pulled back by the Grove number 5 and as it was his second booking he was red carded. From the resulting free kick on the edge of the penalty Dalton Tate shot home through a space in the defensive wall.

Buoyed on United pressed forward with midfielders David Kelly, Gavin Crawford and Dalton Tate seeing a lot of the ball and finding more openings and from a corner the ball broke free for McMullan to stroke the ball into the net from close to the penalty spot. The game was now into injury time but as there was a fair bit of additional time due to time wasting United pressed forward. In the 92nd minute McMullan eased the ball away from the Grove goalkeeper on the left hand side of the penalty area and he swivelled close to the bye line close to the six yard box to find Gavin Crawford running in and crashing the ball into the net.

In the closing minutes Grove pressed to get an equaliser but United held the ball from them to secure a vital three points. This week United travel to East Belfast for a league game.

BUFC NOTES The Swifts got their league season started with an excellent away win to Killough Seconds. Last year the two sides met in a thrilling 5 – 5 encounter but this time the visitors edged the home side out with goals from Ross Bingham [2], Alan Massey, Paul King and David Griffiths.

Everyone at the club would like to wish JJ Carlisle all the very best as he heads off to University in Portmouth.

It was good to see Alan Patterson visit the club this week and take in the Grove game.

Players are reminded that the memberships are due and should be paid as soon as possible.