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League (Irish League)
|Andrew Watson (52)||
Sam Rainey (o.g.) (74)
D. O'Reilly (Glasgow) (Referee)
Coleraine scored their first goal of the season on Saturday, when they had Ballymena as visitors, thus earning their second point, Ballymena also scoring only one goal.
The match attracted an unusually large crowd, the gate receipts amounting to £120. This shows the interest and enthusiasm which the meeting of these two teams arouses.
Play was about evenly balanced in the first half, at the end of which the score sheet was still blank, despite the assiduous efforts of both sides. Coleraine started off well in the second half, Watson opening the scoring from a free.
In the exchanges which followed Ballymena predominated, but were not able to do more than level up the score. Although it was a keenly contested match from start to finish there were few periods of sparkling football, and these were of short duration.
Ballymena opened up the game at the start, and early on received a free, taken by Reid, but all danger was averted. Then McGinnigle broke up an attack, and at the opposite end McNinch got the ball away when in a tight corner and received the first applause of the match. McKean was called into action to save a shot from Nelis at the upright.
But Ballymena were soon on the ascendant again, and from Dalrymple's pass Kilpatrick centred for Cassidy to test Rainey. Stewart followed with another shot which went straight for goal, but Rainey jumped to it well.
Already the pace was fast and end to end play was the rule. Smith, the home centre-forward, shot wildly over when well placed,and later when Jack opened up the way for him he was just preparing to shoot when McNinch saved the situation at the expense of a corner. Lyness was the next player to have a try, but McKean saved brilliantly.
There was a tense moment at the Coleraine end when Kilpatrick fired across a centre and Shiels got his head to the ball just as it was going behind. A run by Lynn looked promising until McNinch nipped in and foiled him, allowing McKean time to run out and clear.
As yet Ballymena had not settled down to their usual game. There was a good deal of short passing, and this as the means of spoiling many good movements. Rainey was on the spot again when Murphy headed in from Kilpatrick's pass. Then Coleraine pressed for a period, but the weak finishing of the forwards and the vigilance of the Ballymena backs prevented a score.
Stewart called upon Rainey to save another fine shot, and following clever work by Cassidy and Kilpatrick, Shiels headed in, but Rainey was safe. Kilpatrick himself made a good attempt to score, but again Rainey was in the way.
McCandless and McNinch worked the offside stunt more than once on the Coleraine forwards, much to their chagrin. The Coleraine goal had a close call when Stewart turned in a shot, and Rainey picked it up just in time. McKean punched over a high shot at the opposite end for a corner, but the defence prevailed.
Then Shiels sped up the centre and passed to Murphy, who led in and sent the ball across goal to Shiels, but the latter was just the fraction of a second late and failed to connect.
Just before the interval Stewart placed a beautiful pass to Kimlin, who in turn gave to Shiels, who shot and the ball rebounded off Rainey's legs. It was a marvelous escape.
Coleraine restarted briskly, but Ballymena were first to get anywhere near goal, Shiels and Murphy co-operating in a fast run which spelled danger, but the defence overcame them.
Some six minutes from the resumption Coleraine took the lead, Andrew Watson scoring from a free kick. McKean was bundled into the net just as he got his hand to the ball.
Ballymena improved immensely after this reverse. They got a better grip of the game than hitherto and worked more effectively together, Murphy executed a number of dazzling runs on the left wing, and once when he centred Shiels headed in and forced Rainey to concede a corner. Later he saved well from Kilpatrick, who in a subsequent attack forced another corner.
A free kick to Ballymena well in the vicinity of the Coleraine goal made the spectators sit up and take notice. McCandless took the kick, and passed the ball to Kilpatrick, who struck the side of the net with a forceful drive.
Ballymena continued to dominate, and in the course of a series of onslaughts the Coleraine goal was often in jeopardy, but a stout defence and a steady goalie kept the Light Blues at bay.
Murphy had hard lines with a header which just skimmed the bar, but the goal had a narrower escape when from Cassidy's pass down the middle Shiels rushed for goal with a back on either side of him, and just when a goal looked imminent Rainey came out and flung himself at the ball, at considerable risk, for which he was paid with an injury, but his tactics undoubtedly saved a goal.
Such pressure was bound to tell, and eventually the equaliser came about sixteen minutes from the end. Murphy made a quick return from Kimlin's pass, and Shiels shot at an awkward angle, the ball striking the upright and trundling over the line as Sam Rainey made a valiant but vain effort to stop it.
Heartened at this somewhat belated success of their efforts Ballymena continued to force the pace. Cassidy came within an ace of scoring when he headed over narrowly from Murphy's pass, and Murphy himself raised a chorus of "Oh's" when he a lightning drive from him whizzed past the upright.
Stewart forced a corner off Rainey, and later the Coleraine goalie was obliged to save a shot from the same opponent. Another corner to Ballymena raised hopes of a win, but the ball was placed well out of the danger zone. In the closing minutes Coleraine were awarded a corner, but this too, was abortive.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (5 September 1930)
|James McKean (GK)||24||1||-||4||-|