NORTHERN AMATEUR FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 1B
SIROCCO WORKS 2 BALLYNAHINCH UNITED 3
United travelled to Wilgar Park, Belfast on Saturday for a league match against Sirocco Works who over the years have always proved to be difficult to get a result against. The spectators who attended got their money’s worth and more in what proved to be a rip roaring encounter.
For the second week running United found themselves 1 – 0 up within the first 5 minutes when midfielder Ian Boal lashed a loose clearance into the net from the edge of the penalty area. This stunned the home team and they were at sixes and sevens for long periods as United turned the screw causing the Sirocco keeper to have to make a number good saves. Things got even better for the visitors on 15 minutes when Gareth McMullan swept a loose ball into the net from 20 yards to make it 2 – 0.
On the half hour mark the referee reduced both sides to 10 men with the Ballynahinch player being unlucky as he had been the victim of a rather crude challenge.
The game settled down from this point on however United appeared to be quite comfortable with Ross Hayes commanding in the centre of defence supported by Brashaw, Walsh and Herron.
As the half time whistle approached United critically lost their concentration allowing a Sirocco player to drift into the penalty are unmarked to slip a shot past Brian McMullan who was powerless to stop it.
This late goal gave Sirocco some hope for the second half however United continued to enjoy most of the possession with Stewart Cree, Alan Dickson and David Boal securing a lot of the ball to feed to Roman Gugulev and Gareth McMullan in the forward positions.
During the second half United’s two best chances came from Gareth McMullan, who saw his shot go narrowly wide, and in the last five minutes Ian McMullan who’s fine shot was tipped over the bar. The home team threw caution to the wind in the closing stages and this tactic was rewarded in the 88th minute they scored a fortunate equaliser. Keeper Brian McMullan did excellent work in blocking a shot from the edge of the penalty area however he was unlucky to see the ball ballooned up into the air and fall in under the cross bar despite the efforts of Hayes to head it away.
An air of despondency fell on the United support as they thought that two points had been squandered however the game was not finished yet. Good work on the left hand side of the pitch by Stuart McMullan and Alan Dickson resulted in Ian McMullan being released to run at the Sirocco defence. He was fouled on the edge of the penalty area and from the resulting free kick Gareth McMullan scored with a shot that swerved around the left hand side of the defensive wall and into the net giving the Sirocco keeper no chance.
This week United travel to neighbours Downshire YM in the league.
On Saturday the Albion lost 1-0 away to Rossglass II’s while the Swifts Templeton Quarter Final match with Woodvale II’s was postponed as the Millbridge was waterlogged. It has been rescheduled for this Saturday 19th March with a 2pm kick off.
Players and supporters should note that the club is running a Night at the Races fundraiser in Cloisters on Saturday 9th April 2011 from 7pm. Full details later.