Ballymoney United fight back to earn draw in Ardstraw

ORGANISE. Peter Cairns, William Smith and Gerard Duffy with the Riada FC Fives Shield.INBM27-15 131SC.
ORGANISE. Peter Cairns, William Smith and Gerard Duffy with the Riada FC Fives Shield.INBM27-15 131SC.

There’s no doubting that Ballymoney United Manager Peter Cairns has had an uphill struggle since the club were relegated from Championship 2 at the end of last season.

However, Cairns continues to push on in a bid to get the best results possible for the club and at the weekend they battled back from three goals down to secure a draw.

It was Ardstraw who nearly broke the deadlock when a mistake in the visitor’s defence resulted in a penalty which was taken by Wilkinson but much to his amazement Coyle making his debut for Ballymoney made a spectacular save in the 16th min. Ballymoney played the better football but went one nil down in the 22nd min when Campbell headed home unmarked from an Ardstraw corner. Ballymoney again gathered their composure but never looked comfortable and went further behind in the 35th min when they conceded another penalty but this time Campbell planted the ball past Coyle in the visitors goal to make it 2 nil. Ballymoney once again piled on the pressure and Stewart was unlucky hitting over the bar in the 37th min after good build up play and a great ball from Dempsey. The visitors once again were thwarted just before half time when Hugh Og Boyle brought a great save out of Kerr in the home goal.

Ardstraw got off to a confident start in the second half, Matthews testing Coyle in the visitors goal from close range. The home team went 3 nil up in the 48th minute after a break down the right caught Ballymoney ball watching. Ballymoney clicked straight from the centre pressurising Ardstraw who failed to clear there line efficiently and cleared straight to Dempsey who wasted no time dispatching the ball in the roof of the net past a static Kerr in the home goal. Ballymoney now dominated the game and Lyons waltzed his way past the home defence to score. Ballymoney equalised in the 75th min when Lyons crossed to Boreland who drilled a superb first time volley into the back of the net.

Manager Peter Cairns commented: ““There’s no doubt we are light in numbers, however, that allows the young lads to get a chance and they showed great characyter to come back from 3-0 down.

“It’s tough on them but on they are getting invaluable experience and they all work hard to do a good job for Ballymoney so that is promising for the club.”