4 - 0
4 - 0
League (Irish League)
Jamie Shiels (15)
James McCambridge (18)
Jamie Shiels (44)
James Mitchell (47)
G. Magennis (Belfast) (Referee)
Up to Saturday, Cliftonville had the unenviable distinction of not having scored a goal in the League this season, and Ballymena saw to it that they maintained their record unbroken. In former years Cliftonville were an unsure quantity and often sprang surprises, and it would have indeed been a surprise had they beaten Ballymena on Saturday, but from the outset the homesters proved the superior eleven by a long way and found no difficulty in bagging the points. A good crowd saw a game at the Showg Grounds which was tame in comparison with Ballymena's past encounters, and which showed Cliftonville in an unimpressive light.
The spin of the coin favoured Ballymena, who played with the sun behind them, and at the first carried play to the vistors' end, where it mostly remained, save for a few spasmodic runs by the Cliftonville forwards, who were held in check by the home defence. It took little time to convince the crowd that Ballymena were going to have a field day, and that there was little to be feared from the opposition.
Bentley came into action early on and pushed in a ground shot which Gardiner picked up. The next danger to the Cliftonville goal was when McNinch essayed a long drive from his own half of the field and the ball dropped into the goalie's arms. Both home wings were often in the limelight, and Shaw and Bentley had hard lines more than once. The homesters played delightfully, the halves and forwards working well together. A run by Shaw and Shiels brought danger, the latter heading against he cross-bar and on the rebound J. Reid gave Gardiner a warm handful.
When the game was about ten minutes old, McDiarmid let Shaw away and the latter beating Millar, put in to Shiels who capped the movement with a well-taken goal, much of the credit of which was due to Shaw's manoeuvring. Five minutes later Ballymena followed this up with another, Bentley sending in to Shiels, who nodded the ball to McCambridge for the last-named to almost overrun the line before he turned the ball in the most awkward angle to hit the roof of the net.
A free was given against D. Reid almost on the penalty line, but the shot was charged and a corner resulted. Another promising movement by home forwards was spoiled by off-side. About mid-way through this half A. Smyth, Cliftonville's centre-forward, was injured and retired for the remainder of the match.
McDiarmid stopped an opposing attack and put up the field to McCambridge, who placed for Shiels to head narrowly past. A shot from Howard compelled Gardiner to concede a corner. The Cliftonville goalie was kept constantly on guard, so much so that it would be tedious reading to give a list of all the shots he saved. Up to the moment Gough in the home goal was practically a spectator, his first test coming when W. Smyth lobbed in a fine shot which he saved. Ballymena renewed the attack and maintained it up to the interval just before which Shiels netted the third from Shaw's pass.
The second half degenerated into a very tame affair, Ballymena doing much as they pleased. A shot from Shaw struck the side net. After tricking the backs, Shiels looked like scoring, but a corner was conceded. Shaw put across a couple of fine shots which were dangerous enough. Play swerved to the right wing, where Bentley placed to Shiels, who, in turn, gave to Mitchell for the last-named to walk right in and score the fourth.
Shiels and Mitchell failed to utilise a great opportunity later when Bentley put the ball right across goal, but neither got in their shot. Gough was stirred out of inactivity to deal with a shot from McConkey. The locals dominated the game up to the end.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (21 September 1928)
|John Gough (GK)||32||4||-||4||-|