2 - 2
2 - 2
League (Irish League)
Joseph Cassidy (pen.) (26)
James McCambridge (68)
Harry Johnston (16)
W. McClean (Belfast) (Referee)
Football has come into his own again, after what seems but a short interval from the concluding game of last season. During the team building period local 'fans' have ardently discussed all the pros and cons of the new players Ballymena have signed, and at the same time have debated vigorously some of the club's actions in other matters.
To discuss the action of the directors, however, does not lie within my province. They have their own difficulties to contend with, and in the light of their knowledge they feel that whatever action they have taken has been to safeguard the interests of the Club, which is, after all, the purpose of which they were elected. We, who have not the inside facts of the case, cannot condemn their action unreservedly.
In spite of the dismal weather, with its frequent heavy rain showers, a big crowd attended at the Showgrounds, amongst which was a fair percentage of Portadown supporters.
A cheer went up as it was seen that Bassnett, Ballymena's captain, had won the toss. Playing with the aid of a light breeze. Ballymena set a fast pace right at the start, and in the first minute the home forwards went right through to within a few feet of goal, where McCambridge sent over.
Afterwards Portadown took matters thoroughly in hand and sorely tried the home backs, who in the opening stages were none too safe. The visitors positioned well, worked with might and main, and kept up a whirlwind pace which must have taxed their strength. Shiels made a quick get-away and should have scored, but he ran the ball almost up against Lawson, who picked up before his opponent could shoot. After fifteen minutes' play Harry Johnston took advantage of only a partial clearance by McNinch and opened the scoring.
At the end of another half-hour Shiels was brought down unfairly near goal, and with the subsequent penalty Joe Cassidy steered the ball past Lawson for the equaliser. Ballymena were not long on equal terms, however, for in a very short time Harry Johnston scored Portadown's second goal. The only time Lawson was put to the test after this was when Cassidy fired a shot at the corner of the post. Portadown were the better team in this half on display.
Things took on a different hue in the second half. Ballymena making a wonderful recovery and being as dominant as their opponents were in the first period of the game. They got more cohesion into their play and attacked wit more confidence, but it was not until twenty-three minutes from the interval that James McCambridge scored the goal which was the means of dividing the points. It came off a centre of Girvan's, and only by persistent work did McCambridge get the ball into the net, surrounded as he was by a number of opponents.
This goal seemed to give Ballymena a new lease of life. They attacked vigorously and with great spirit, and more than one corner came their way. Twice in this half Shiels seemed on the point of scoring, but wasted golden opportunities by erratic shooting. Once he did get a good drive on the mark, but Lawson rose to the occasion. In the closing minutes Portadown made a series of raids but never looked like scoring. Ballymena had undoubtedly the better of the play in this half.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (23 August 1929)
|John Gough (GK)||33||1||-||45||-|