4 - 2
4 - 2
James McCambridge (14)
Fred Roberts (15)
A. Kirby (Preston) (Referee)
Ballymena are not resting on their Irish Cup honours. On the contrary, they are forging ahead in the City Cup and making valiant efforts to bring off a record 'double' in this their first season.
If it comes off they will have achieved something which has never been equalled by a first-year team, and probably never will be again.
Meantime they won their fourth match inside eight days when they defeated Glentoran at the Showgrounds on Saturday, and by so doing they now stand second in the City Cup table, just a point behind Linfield, the leaders, who were played to a draw by Distillery at Windsor Park. Ballymena had their match won at the interval, where they led 4-1. In the first half they were complete masters of the situation but the second half saw the 'Glens' do a good deal of attacking, but only a trifle more than the homesters.
In spite of having won the toss Glentoran played against the breeze and the light. There was a thrill in the first half-minute when McCambridge accepted a pass from Cassidy and shot straight and hard for goal, Ward catching deftly. Then Hanna lifted in a nice centre, and when McCambridge was just about to shoot the ball was taken from his toe by H. Reid, who kicked for a corner. Subsequently the Glentoran forwards moved for the opposite end and were getting dangerous enough till McDiarmid came on the scene and relieved pressure.
After Gough had 'handled', the home forwards, assisted by the halves, made a series of raids, every one of which was full of potential danger, and gave Allen and H. Reid. many an anxious moment. For the first quarter of an hour the exhibition of football given by the Ballymena front line was delightful, their fine passing movement and ball control being a feature of the match. A shot from Cassidy was charged down, and then the ball came out to J. Reid, whose effort lacked direction. Then James McCambridge was on the ball again and when going well was tripped up, but he regained his equilibrium in an instant and put the ball in the net far out of Ward's reach.
Within a minute the 'Glens' had equalised, largely through a miscalculation on Gough's part. Nelson was running backwards towards goal to meet the ball as it came from the visitors' left, and Gough came out to fist clear, but the one obstructed the other and the ball dropped on Fred Roberts' head and was diverted in the net.
Further pressure by Ballymena saw Mitchell, Shiels and Howard having pots-for-goal. Inside a short period the match was stopped twice because of two Glentoran casualties. On resuming, McCambridge converted a pass from Mitchell, but the whistle went for off-side. However, Ballymena had the satisfaction of scoring again in the next minute, when D. Reid gave Howard to lob into the centre, and as Allen accompanied the ball almost to the line, about a yard from the upright, evidently in the thought that it was safe and would go past, Jamie Shiels out in round his left and astonished him and everybody else by turning the ball into the net.
A tricky wing run by Cassidy, in which he left several opponents standing, evoked loud applause but the subsquent centre was lost, McCambridge lifting the ball over the bar. A run by the 'Glens' was stopped short for a 'free' from which McDiarmid landed the ball well in front of goal, where Ward hit it away from the top of Shiels' head, and James Mitchell met it and had it in the rigging in a trice, with a great shot.
Glentoran attacked with great determination, but a clearance by J. Reid let Hanna away, and the latter crossed in to Mitchell, who sent in along shot which the goalie fumbled, and Jamie Shiels following up as usual, took the ball away almost from Ward's grasp and placed it in the net for Ballymena's fourth.
The homesters again attacked, and McCambridge sent over the bar by inches. Then Glentoran made ground for the first time for a considerable period and Roberts went wide. Returning to the attack they received a 'free'. and there was an anxious moment when J. Reid, in attempting to clear, headed towards his own goal, and McDiarmid saved the situation by conceding a corner. Still keeping up the attack, the 'Glens' impressed favourably, and Roberts turned in a neat shot which Gough held well. Then Hutchinson struck the upright with a terrific drive and the ball rebounded to touch. Just before the interval Cassidy received a high pass from Mitchell and headed the ball to Shiels's toe, but the latter lifted it over the bar.
A beautiful cross by Cassidy in the first minute after the resumption gave Hanna the chance of a lifetime, but the winger missed the ball altogether. Glentoran looked like scoring in the next minute when Crooks got away on a clear field, but Gough sized up the situation admirably and ran out to kick clear. A free to the visitors saw Gough in action again, and after he had fisted out the ball was returned and Crooks had a try, but McDiarmid sent behind for a corner, following which William Crooks reduced the lead with a neat effort. Roberts missed a grand opening later when he shot wide.
Cassidy figured in a fast run on the left and sent across for Mitchell to head past. This was quickly followed by Cassidy getting away again and putting in a fast drive which sent the ball whizzing across the goal-mouth. Pressure by Glentoran brought them three corners in quick succession, but none proved fruitful. A corner to Ballymena was equally abortive. Play ranged from end to end now, but for the most part was characterised by big kicking, which was unspectacular enough, but did not lead to the desired results.
Then McKeague dropped in a lovely centre to Roberts, who lost no time in shooting, but Gough saved. The visitors continued to attack, making many incursions into the home area, but always they found themselves up against a defence which would not give way. Occasionally Gough was tested, but he came out of the ordeals with flying colours. Ward also was active, stopping a well-placed shot of Cassidy's, and later saving at the corner of the post from the same player. Ballymena had a lot of promising attacks spoiled by off-side.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (12 April 1929)
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