2 - 1
2 - 1
Irish Cup (Round 1)
Johnny Dalrymple (50)
John Murphy (74)
|James Hume (30)|
P. Snape (Liverpool) (Referee)
Ballymena's performance in defeating Cliftonville in the first round of the Irish Cup at the Showgrounds on Saturday was a creditable one in view of the fact they turned out with three subs in the forward line.
Cassidy, who was watching by the bedside of his little seven years' old in Paisley, was an absentee, as were also Nelson and Shiels, both of whom were indisposed, and so Ballymena's chances were not of the rosiest kind, especially in view of the fact that Cliftonville had gathered three points out of a possible four in league encounters with Ballymena this season.
However, the team pulled through. On the run of the play success could not be denied them, although Cliftonville set up a scare by leading by a goal at the interval. Even so, it was felt that Ballymena would win in the long run, and when they scored twice in the second half there were great scenes of jubilation. Although the match was fought out in real cup-tie spirit the play never rose to great heights, much of it being of a mediocre description.
Ballymena had easily two-thirds of the play in their favour and deserved to pass into the second round.
Playing against a glaring sun Cliftonville invaded the home end at the start, only to be repelled by McNinch. Then Kimlin set the front line moving and Dalrymple lobbed the ball across for Murphy to force a corner, from which Turkington sent behind.
Soon the Cliftonville backs were defending stubbornly, and Skelton did well to get the ball away following a free to Ballymena. Danger was imminent again when Kimlin shot over.
Even in these early exchanges the pace was brisk and the game took on a lively complexion. Cliftonville broke away again and Millar sent in a long-range shot which was too weak to be dangerous. McCandless cut short the next Cliftonville attack, and Turkington passed the ball out to Murphy, who brought Gardiner into action with a fine shot.
In the middle of the field Reid was tackling and placing well, and both McCandless and McNinch were on their tip-toes, the Cliftonville forwards finding it hard to make any impression on the trio.
There was more livliness on the Ballymena left where Murphy dodged Skelton and gave Gardner another rasper to stop, the goalie only saving at the expense of a corner. Still keeping up the pressure Ballymena subjected the opposing defence to a gruelling time, but the finishing of the inside forwards was not all that could be desired.
Stewart forced a corner with a long, low shot, but it only produced a melee in front of goal from which nothing happened.
Mitchell was one of the few visiting forwards who showed any promise, but he was well watched by McCandless. Still, he got across several good centres, and once he volleyed in a high shot which Black handled well.
At the opposite end Maguire and Skelton were putting in some hefty kicking. Skelton, in particular, was more forcible than polite, and on one occasion in this half it was questionable whether a penalty should not have been given against him for a foul on Murphy.
The referee consulted the linesman, who gave a negative answer. Murphy was the only Ballymena forward who was shooting with any consistency. He got in shots, some from very awkward angles, which Gardiner found difficult enough.
Cliftonville sprang a surprise at the end of half-an-hour when Mitchell crossed in the ball and James Hume piloted it into the net, Black being well beaten with the shot, although one would have thought he had time to make a better effort to save it.
This goal was directly against the run of play so far. Ballymena up to this point had been enjoying the larger share of the play, but the finishing of the forwards as a whole remained weak. At one stage of the game Shaw had a clear run through, but he had not enough confidence in himself to shoot for goal.
On resuming, Ballymena put even more pep into their play and before long Dalrymple forced a corner off Maguire. From the ensuing flag kick, which had to be taken twice, Kimlin handled accidently. Then Stewart let Murphy away and the latter worked his way in and fired in a shot which Gardiner fielded well.
Five minutes after the restart Murphy completed a great run by giving Gardner a hot handful which he stopped but failed to hold, and Johnny Dalrymple, who was lying close in, lodged the ball safely in the net for the equaliser amid scenes of enthusiasm.
In the next minute Dalrymple drove the ball across again and when Turkington headed it forward Skelton put up his hand and actually touched the ball, but the referee failed to award a penalty.
Ballymena confined most of the play to the Cliftonville end now, and the goal had escape after escape. They were simply playing Cliftonville off their feet. Murphy had the hardest of lines with a shot which struck the side-net.
Then Cliftonville got away on one of their few runs this half, and Black was called on to stop a good try from Mitchell.
Ballymena returned to the attack, but in spite of forcing several corners, the much desired winning goal would not come. Turkington had a nice run up the middle but finished weakly.
The winning goal came 29 minutes after the restart when Gardiner failed to hold a shot from Dalrymple and John Murphy pounced on the ball and scored with a great shot.
It was all Ballymena's game up to the finish, but no further scoring took place.
Match report written by Ballymena Observer (5 December 1930)
|William Black (GK)||24||13||-||13||-|