3 - 2
Bob Hunter (31)
Andrew Finlay (78)
William Ferguson (84)
Jamie Shiels (15)
Joseph Cassidy (80)
With the team that fought Linfield to a standstill a Saturday or two ago Ballymena would have stood a good chance of bringing home the points from Portadown on Saturday last, but to expect the eleven selected to accomplish this feat was rather like crying for the moon.
It was not so much the personnel of the team that mattered - although improvements could have easily been made in that direction - as the juggling with players' positions, which cannot be considered otherwise than as an ill-advised thing in a match of such importance.
Last year Ballymena's defeat by Portadown possibly meant the loss of the City Cup, and the fact that they dropped two points on Saturday may well blight any chances they had in the competition.
Although labouring under difficulties, Ballymena put up as good a show as possible under the circumstances, but even so, only Gough's brilliant goalkeeping stood between them and a much heavier defeat. Besides saving a penalty he brought off lots of marvellous saves. Portadown seems to be Cassidy's unlucky ground for penalty kicks, for he missed one there again on Saturday.
There was little of note in the opening, a good deal of the midfield play ensuing until the home left wing got going, and Johnston called Gough into action with a high shot, which the keeper fisted clear. Finlay was early noticeable with some clever play, and after rounding a number of opponents, was loudly applauded for a fine shot which just went wide.
Ballymena, per Shiels, tried to get going, but were well held up by Ferguson, who cleared in the nick of time. Severe pressure by Portadown saw the Ballymena goal escape narrowly when shots by Ferguson and Johnston just missed by inches. The visitors then raided, and in the course of the attack Kirkwood was compelled to kick back to Ross to save his charge, and a minute later Kirkwood was lucky to concede a corner in stopping a fierce drive from Cassidy, the flag kick proving abortive.
After fourteen minutes' play Kirkwood was adjudged to have fouled Kilpatrick inside the penalty area, but Cassidy drove the spot kick wide. However, further amends were made a minute later when O'Reilly got off on the visiting left and, centering well, Jamie Shiels beat Ross from close in.
This livened the 'Ports' up, and Gough was decidedly fortunate to get in the way of a terrific shot from Johnston. Ballymena were displaying good form, and their raids were always dangerous to the home defence, who were none too sure in their clearances. Gough then made a wonderful save from Johnston, and must be said to have saved a certain goal, while at the other end Ross did likewise from Cassidy.
After thirty-one minutes' play the scores were levelled per Bob Hunter, who accepted a fine centre from Lappin to beat Gough all the way with a great shot. Two corners were then forced by Portadown, but a foul brought relief. Play was keen from this to the interval, but there was no further scoring.
A strong raid on the Ballymena left wing was the opening incident in the second half, when a perfectly-screwed shot from Gilmore passed narrowly over. The 'Ports' then moved forward, but Finlay's pass was rather wide, and a good movement was spoiled, while later Blair was unlucky to be called up for offside when in the act of shooting.
Ballymena were being kept penned in their own half, and Edwards had hard lines with a shot that passed narrowly over. Ballymena then attacked, but a good opening was nullified for hand-ball against Shiels. Lappin forced a corner, and both Edwards and he had hard lines with good shots when Gough saved well.
Twelve minutes from time Edwards centered accurately, the ball striking the upright, and Andrew Finlay scored from the rebound. Two minutes later Joseph Cassidy equalised for Ballymena. A penalty was then awarded Portadown, but Gough made a wonderful save from Edwards. Six minutes from time William Ferguson gave Portadown the lead.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (28 March 1930)
|John Gough (GK)||34||32||-||76||-|