2 - 4
2 - 4
League (Irish League)
Joseph Cassidy (pen.) (5)
John Murphy (14)
Fred Roberts (1)
Fred Roberts (27)
Fred Roberts (70)
William Crooks (72)
T. Greaves (Stoke-on-Trent) (Referee)
For the first time on record Ballymena went under to Glentoran last Saturday, and so lost a record which, it was thought, they had a good chance of preserving intact.
The match, which was played at the Showgrounds, attracted an attendance above the average, the visitors bringing a large number of supporters with them.
Roberts, the Glentoran leader, dropped a bomb into the Ballymena camp in the first minute when he drove the ball hard into the roof of the net. Four minutes later Cassidy levelled the score with a penalty, and at the end of fourteen minutes Ballymena took the lead per Murphy. A quarter of an hour later, however the 'Glens' drew level, Roberts scoring again, and the teams crossed over on equal terms.
Playing with the wind in the second half, Ballymena had the better share of the playing territorially, but the finishing of forwards left much to be desired. After Glentoran took the lead, again per Roberts, and when Crooks added a fourth in the next minute Ballymena seemed hopelessly at sea, and from now to the end played a very indifferent game, the forwards chiefly in the in the inside men, showing very little penetrative power.
Winning the toss, Glentoran played with the wind and swooped down on the Ballymena goal right in the first minute. After good work on the left Callaghan got the ball into Crooks, who in turn gave to Fred Roberts, and the last named , taking a first time shot, drove the ball through a rock of players into the roof of the net for the opening goal. It was a most sensational start to the game.
Ballymena raced for goal and Murphy brought Fitzroy into action, but the 'Glens' were soon attacking again, and Callaghan fired across a centre for Roberts to head over the bar. The second thrill of the match took place when Murphy was going well for goal, was tripped by McMeekin and a penalty was awarded. Joseph Cassidy scoring with a well placed ground shot, the ball doing little more than roll leisurely over the line just out of Fitzroy's reach.
With the score now level a great battle for the supremacy began. The pace was fast, the football good, and the spectators sat back to enjoy the thrilling struggle. A faulty clearance by Gibson at the Glentoran end sent the ball into his own goal, but Fitzroy picked up, and then at the opposite end when Stewart kicked high in the air the ball swerved back towards goal and McKean did well to run out and clear when Roberts was becoming dangerous again.
The home goalie stopped a lively shot when Mitchell took a free kick, and immediately afterwards he punched clear when things were looking black.
A pass from Shaw let Murphy away on his own and he led up to goal and shot straight for Fitzroy, who held the shot well. Anything might have happened in another melee at the home end, and the home supporters breathed easy again when Mitchell sent over the bar.
Good combination and neat footwork by John Murphy and Cassidy led to the former putting Ballymena on the lead at the end of fourteen minutes, his shot beating Fitroy all the way.
End-to-end play was the rule now, and bother goalies were often in action. McKean stopped a header from Roberts, whose height enabled him to be useful with his head. Then Kilpatrick dashed along the home right wing and lobbed across to Murphy, who headed in, but Gibson kicked clear. Fitzroy just managed to get the ball away in time in another attack when hard pressed.
It was now Glentoran's turn to advance, they wept along the field carrying everything before them in an irresistible attack, at the end of which Crooks let fly for goal and McKean saved, but failed to hold and McCandless turned the ball out almost from the goal line. Ballymena made an equally impressive run, in which Cassidy placed to Kilpatrick, who cut in and had a shot on his own, the ball just grazing the bar.
The equaliser came at the end of twenty-seven minutes when Callaghan sent back to McClure, who dropped the ball just in front of goal and Fred Roberts headed it against the underside of the crossbar, McKean scraping the ball away after it had bounced on the ground, but the referee awarded a goal.
In stopping a shot at the Glentoran end Fitzroy turned around with the ball in his arms when Kimlin rushed in, and an appeal was made for a goal, as it was thought Fitzroy had carried the ball over the line, but the referee motioned for the players to carry on.
With the wind advantage it was thought Ballymena had a good chance of improving their position in the second half, but while they did the major part of the attacking for the first half hour, they could not crown their efforts with a goal. Stewart and McMeekin had a bout of fisticuffs early on, but they were separated before any harm was done.
A free kick followed by a corner, gave Ballymena more chances, but want of punch in front of goal spoiled them. McKean stopped a scorcher from Good with Roberts in close proximity and then Dalrymple got possession and let Kilpatrick away, but the winger's shot went behind. These two players were again prominent in a movement on the right, and Kilpatrick crossed in for Cassidy to miss by inches.
McCandless stopped Crooks beautifully and after leading up the field he let Murphy away and the latter, judging the distance well, dropped the ball in front of goal, where Cassidy and Shaw jumped for it at the same time and spoiled a golden opportunity.
There were stirring incidents at both ends, none that stands out in particularly when Geary, when close in, lifted the ball right over the bar, a seemingly impossible thing. Another thrill came when McKean saved a shot at full stretch.
After this play became dull for a time, neither side exerting themselves to any great extent. Glentoran, however, later posing a surprise when Callaghan got in a centre and when McKean failed to hold the ball Fred Roberts nipped in and lodged it in the net for the leading goal.
This was followed quickly by William Crooks scoring a fourth after McKean had saved a previous shot, but had made only a partial clearance. These two goals had an unsettling effect on Ballymena, who fell away badly, any little method they had previously shown being now conspicuous by its absence.
There was no life in their attacks from now until the end, except on one occasion when Dalrymple shot in from a corner, but Fitzroy effected a good clearance.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (19 September 1930)
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