5 - 0
Gold Cup (Quarter final)
Joe Bambrick (16)
Harry McCracken (51)
Joe Bambrick (53)
Joe Bambrick (56)
Harry McCracken (86)
Ballymena made an inglorious exit out of the Gold Cup competition on Wednesday afternoon, when they were soundly whipped in the second round by Linfield at Windsor Park, the Windsorites chalking up five goals without reply.
It was a repetition of what happened on Saturday against Glentoran, only on a larger scale. Holding their own well in the first half, they simply went to pieces in the second and gave as sorry an exhibition of football as we have seen for a long time.
After the interval Linfield were nearly always their masters, doing pretty much as they liked and scoring no fewer than four goals in this half, which might seem attribute to the defence to those who did not see the match, but this was far from being the case, because McCandless and McNinch did all that could be humanly expected of them.
Where the fault lay chiefly was in the weakness of the inside forwards and the left-half, Dalrymple, who led the attack, was totally at sea, but what else could be expected when a player who is purely a right-half and nothing else is moved out of position? Kimlin was the poorest of the poor, and in the second half especially.
Cassidy was far from being the player we know him to be, as for Howard, I have never seen him play so amateurishly; he never made an attempt to watch Houston, who had a clear field in front of him every time he got the ball. Both wing men were almost starved, or in the alternative wasted previous stamina trying to get passes which went all away.
Reid played a bustling game at centre-half, carrying and fetching all the time, but he had two men's work to do, simply because of the inefficacy of the inside forwards, who let the Linfield backs get clear kicking all the time. It was really a bad debacle in the second half.
The only time Ballymena looked like doing anything was about a minute before the finish, when Murphy, who had moved into the centre-forward position a few minutes before, gave Crothers the only dangerous shot he got since the start.
I think a reshuffle of the team at the start of the second half would have paid Ballymena. If Dalrymple and Stewart had been put into their regular places and Murphy brought into the centre, it is probable that this would have been much more effective.
Linfield went off with a rush at the start, and in the first minute McGrory, their latest recruit struck the upright with a snorter. Ballymena paid a visit to the other end, where Cassidy drove in twice, but both shots went over the bar.
In a race with McCandless, Bambrick looked like getting through until McNinch bundled across the field and stopped him effectively. This was not the only time McNinch came to the rescue in this half; he stopped Bambrick more than once, and on another occasion baulked Houston when he was almost through.
There were stiff tussles between both sets of backs and the opposing forwards, but Linfield opened their account at the end of sixteen minutes, when Houston slung in the ball and Joe Bambrick steered it deftly into the net. Bambrick's marksmanship was very little at fault a few minutes later when he shaved the bar with a fine shot.
The defence on both sides were working the offside game well, so that a good many promising movements came to naught. Whatever was in it Linfield were the more dangerous side in this half. Just before the interval McNinch was fouled by Houston after he had pulled him up short, and had to be assisted to the line for attention, but he resumed in a couple of minutes.
With only a goal against them it was hoped that Ballymena would pull themselves together in the second half and make a good fight for it, but matters only went from bad to worse. Six minutes from the start, when McNinch covered Bambrick so that McKean could get the ball away, the goalie instead of lifting the ball, which he ample time to do, kicked it out, and Harry McCracken, who was lying a few yards away, trapped it and shot for goal at once, the ball rolling over the line underneath McKean, who made a frantic effort to save as he tried to recover his position between the posts.
Two minutes later Joe Bambrick sped through when McCandless was on the ground and scored the third with a grounder.
Ballymena had hardly recovered from the shock of these two goals when McCaw got across a beautiful centre, and Joe Bambrick connecting with it in mid-air had the ball in the net in a trice. Three goals inside five minutes was some going, and certainly put the tin lid on Ballymena's hopes.
After this spasm of scoring, Linfield almost monopolised the play, Ballymena being outplayed and outmanoeuvred everywhere. On the Linfield right wing, Houston had a clear field every time, and he dropped in centre after centre, and only the good defence of McCandless, Reid, and McNinch kept the score within bounds.
Still such pressure was bound to tell, and no one was surprised when from McCaw's corner, Harry McCracken headed through Linfield's fifth.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (19 September 1930)
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