2 - 2
League (Irish League)
Richard Shaw (15)
Jamie Shiels (25)
|Mick Short (75)||None.|
G. Magennis (Belfast) (Referee)
For the second Saturday in succession Ballymena had an away fixture, travelling to Newry, where the Border men, after being a goal down, managed to draw in the last ten minutes.
For such a long journey - two hours by special train - Ballymena carried good support, almost two hundred travelling to the Frontier Town, thus helping to swell the attendance to respectable proportions, otherwise it would have been small enough.
Winning the toss, Newry took advantage of the wind, and a nice movement ended in Short sending over the bar. Ballymena headway, and Nelson won applause with clever overhead kicking. Getting within shooting distance Cunning sent in a rasper, but he was offside, and anyhow McMinn fielded the ball. Shiels made several good efforts, but he was up against a defence which stood the test. Then at the opposite end Turley shot in a fast grounder which found Gough ready.
Ballymena got settled down and gave a display of very neat football, which kept the Newry defence on the go all the time. Taking the ball along the wing, Shaw passed to McCambridge, but the latter was beaten just in time by Brown. After Gough had saved at the expense of a corner, McNinch put the ball into the other half of the field where Shiels made ground rapidly, and after he had eluded the backs, led right up to goal where McMinn ran out to meet him, whereupon he slipped over to Richard Shaw for the latter to score through an open goal.
The next Ballymena attack saw the goal again at their mercy, and how Shaw missed from a yard out was something of a mystery. In the melee in front of goal, however, Ballymena should have received a penalty, for just before Shaw shot, a Newry player who was on the ground, swept the ball out of goal with his arm. The referee either did not notice the infringement or he ignored it.
Newry burst through the home defence and Lynas sent past by inches. Then Gough brought off a magnificent save when Carroll shot at point blank range, the goalie putting over the bar for a corner. Sharp exchanges followed in midfield, where the respective halves stemmed the attacks of the opposing forwards. Gradually Ballymena forced play to the Newry end, J. Reid placing well for Shaw to run in and shoot, McMinn fielding the ball, but Jamie Shiels, sizing up the situation, rushed in to leave the goalie helpless with a timely effort.
At this stage of the game Ballymena were by far and away the better team, and looked like over-running their opponents. They were attacking constantly and with great vigour, and it took the utmost efforts of the backs and the goalie to keep down the score. Newry got their first goal through a mis-understanding. Howard was in the act of throwing in the ball when the linesman motioned him to take the throw-in a yard further down the field. Howard, however, had the ball well away before he had time to obey instructions with the result that the linesman flagged the referee and the latter blew the whistle.
Evidently thinking it was a foul throw-in; Howard did not come back for the ball, and McAteer took a free kick, from which Edward Carroll reduced the lead with a clever header. Form a corner to Newry Short put over the bar.
Nice play by Ballymena saw them well in the picture on the resumption and the Newry goal had a narrow shave when Cunning just skimmed the bar with a splendid shot from the wing which had McMinn beaten all the way. Persistent play by the homesters brought them to the Ballymena end, where from a corner J. Reid slipped up to Shiels, who would have scored but for being badly fouled by Nelson. He took the ball along the ground until met by Brown and Nelson, and then slipping it round Nelson outflanked Brown and beat both in an exciting race, only to be tripped up almost on the penalty line. The resultant free left the score unchanged.
Further pressure by Ballymena resulted in a corner, and when the ball was cleared J. Reid got possession and volleyed in a try which missed. Another corner to Ballymena proved abortive. The game took on a most exciting aspect now. In the first half Ballymena were on top, and the demeanour of the spectators was calm, but now Newry were more in the picture, but not more so than Ballymena. McCambridge let Shaw away, and the latter centred in for Shiels to send past.
The homesters attacked with vigour and gave McNinch and McDiarmid plenty to do. Lynas put in a long shot which landed on top of the net. Play swung quickly from end to end, and both goalies brought off clever saves. Less than a quarter of an hour from the finish, Short got his marching orders from the refere, but the loss of a man did not dishearten Newry, who attacked keenly, and their efforts were rewarded when Thomas Hanna scored the equaliser on the goal-line. Ballymena had a golden chance to win the points when McCambridge got away on a clear field, but he shot too soon, instead of leading up to goal.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (9 November 1928)
|John Gough (GK)||32||10||-||10||-|