4 - 2
4 - 2
League (Irish League)
Jamie Shiels (22)
Jamie Shiels (38)
Walter Clarke (78)
Walter Clarke (80)
Fred Barrett (60) (pen.)
W. McClean (Belfast) (Referee)
The visit of Ards to Ballymena on Saturday last only drew a moderate crowd. At the outset the weather was dry, but blustery and occasional showers fell during the second period.
D. Reid lost the toss for the second Saturday in succession, and Ballymena had to face a setting sun. McMullen had to handle in the first minute, McCandless sending the ball back to him when hard pressed. The opening play was quiet, but Ballymena were the more dangerous, ad eventually forced a corner. This was cleared by McCandless. Gough fly-kicked when Carson threatened danger from a break-away. Shiels was frequently played offside by the visiting backs, and several good movements on the part of the Ballymena forwards were rendered innocuous by these tactics.
Ballymena, however, were still having the better of matters territorially, and a great shot by Shaw sailed right across the Ards goal to go past. McMullen and his backs were still getting plenty to do, and Barrett at length conceded a corner, which was nicely placed by Clark, and J. Reid headed goalward. McMullen stopped the ball but failed to hold it, and Jamie Shiels running in, netted twenty minutes from the start. Two minutes later Shaw sent across to Shiels, who bored in but was penalised.
Following this, play became more lively with Ballymena playing the more finished game, and Morrow struck the side of the net with a shot which might have had better luck. The ball travelled across to Jamie Shiels, who bored in to net number two from an almost impossible angle, McMullen just touching the ball and no more, the ball passing in. This was thirty-eight minutes from the start. Ards made one or two incursions into the Ballymena end, but the forwards lacked punch and no scores resulted.
Rain was falling when play was resumed. Ards were the first to attack, and a free against McNinch resulted in Ballymena conceding an abortive corner. Play reverted to the other end, where McMullen was injured in falling full length to save a low ground shot from Shaw's foot, but he was able to resume after receiving attention.
When Burns sent across Gough had to fly kick with three opponents almost on the goal line. Three corners fell to Ballymena, but nothing tangible resulting, and then Ards had a spell of attacking.
Morrow came away, and from a free ten yards outside the penalty area Barrett had a hard, low shot for goal. The shot was charged down, but the home citadel was not yet out of danger, as Lynn had a try which just missed, and then Carson sent across one which Gough just touched as it went out at the post. Ards were still attacking, when McDiarmid, beaten for possession, apparently fouled Carson inside the penalty area. The referee held he had done so, and Fred Barrett made no mistake with the spot kick. Thus fifteen minutes after the re-start Ballymena were reduced to a single goal lead.
This livened up play considerably, and Ballymena returned to the attack time and again, but the opposing defence, and especially Barrett, was very sound. Then Ards came away, and in the course of a hot attack Gough pulled the ball down, but before he could get it away John Garrett smashed it into the net for the equaliser. McMullen was injured, and immediately on resuming had to save from Shaw, but the balance of play still favoured Ards, who were playing a more open game.
Ballymena eventually got going well, and Walter Clarke sent in a great shot from an acute angle which went through a ruck of players of players and found the back of the net. Play had hardly resumed when Walter Clarke and Shiels came away in a nice piece of in-and-out play, and the former finished up a splendid movement by sending into the back of the net for the home team's fourth goal. From this till the end play was very fast. The Ballymena goal had one miraculous escape and the Ards citadel was almost down again, Shiels missing by inches to get at a cross from Shaw.
Match report written by Ballymena Weekly Telegraph (29 December 1928)
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