Ballynahinch United Storm Over Donard Hospital

NORTHERN AMATEUR FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 1B Ballynahinch United  5  Donard Hospital  0 United got back on track with this convincing victory over Donard Hospital at Millbridge on Saturday, but for much of the first half it was looking like anything but a foregone conclusion. With three players missing through suspension, work and family commitments the management team took the bold step of giving a debut to teenager JJ Carlisle and he did not disappoint. On the first half showing it was the visitors who had the best of the goal scoring opportunities with two excellent chances being blazed wide of goal. In the second half United lifted their game but in a short space of time they lost leading scorer Gareth McMullan through illness and central defender Ross Hayes who sustained a nasty facial injury blocking what seemed like a certain goal scoring chance. On 55 minutes United took the lead through Alan Herron who ran from the left wing to drive an unstoppable shot into the net. Donard Hospital who are lying dangerously close to the relegation zone chased the game and left themselves exposed to the runs of Ian McMullan who worked tirelessly. Scott Brashaw got the second when his 25 yard free kick went into the top right hand corner of the goal. Teenager substitute Ethan Majury was instigator of the third goal when he ran into the penalty area to unleash a shot that the keeper could not hold and Ian McMullan was on hand to shoot home. Adam Herron got the fourth when his shot from just inside the penalty area sailed into the net. Ian McMullan got the fifth and his second when he evaded a number of challenges to run through the penalty area before shooting past the advancing keeper. Donard had the opportunity to reduce the arrears when they were awarded a penalty.  But for the second week running Brian McMullan was not to be beaten as he dived to save the spot kick. Soon after keeper Brian McMullan got a rare chance to score when United were awarded a penalty but he scuffed his shot for his opposite number to get the glory and save the kick. An improving performance but with some difficult opponents coming up starting with a home game against title challengers Orangefield O.B. this Saturday it will have to improve even more. NORTHERN AMATEUR FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 3D ALBION STAR 2nds 1 V BALLYNAHINCH UNITED II’s 1 In recent weeks a crop of injuries added to the unavailability of players has brought its challenges to manager Johnny Reid and this week was probably one of the worst however he got a team together promoting a number of third teamers and they did not let him down. Playing against a fairly stiff breeze the Swifts had to withstand periods in defence but marshalled by David Dunlop they stood firm with Paul Maginess, Craig McMullan and Alan McKee playing out of their skin. In midfield Keith Hamilton, Sam Annett and Matty Shaw were at the centre of a number of decent attacking moves which with a bit more luck would have yielded goals. Hamilton saw his shot cannon off the post and Shaw’s drive looped off the crossbar. Despite all this they found themselves a goal down following a defensive error shortly before half time. In the second half the home side took control of the game however the Swifts were always dangerous with teenage debutants Gareth Steenson and Paul King causing problems on the wings. Indeed the long throws from both King and Hamilton were causing great problems for the Albion defence and it was from one of these that the Swifts got their equaliser. The referee awarded a penalty for a defender climbing all over Chris Gray and up stepped Paul King to score. The Swifts had to work hard for their point in the closing stages with keeper Jason Stafford making a number of excellent saves. The Swifts play title challengers Downshire YM 2nds at the Millbridge on Thursday night kick off 6.30pm.]]>