Ballymoney United 4 - 2 Newbuildings United
Kicking off at the Riada Stadium for a change of venue in perfect conditions the game was a fairly even contest in the early stages, the first chance coming on 5 mins when a Dempsey cross was tipped off the head of Mark Gillan by Crown to thwart the early chance. Newbuildings put together a good move of their own on 10 mins when Stephen Doherty broke down the left and fed Buchanan who took his time in space to cross to Wayne Glenn to blast past Coyle from close range in the home goal on 10 mins.
Ballymoney countered right from the centre and a very good save from Jack Glenn in the visitors’ goal prevented Mark Gillan from equalising on 12 mins. Newbuildings came close on 20 mins although suspiciously offside play went on and Wayne Glenn scuffed his shot wide. Ballymoney dominated this period of play and came close on 27 mins when Gerald Gillan connected with a header from a Coyles cross well saved Jack Glenn in the visitors’ goal.
Ballymoney pressure was rewarded on 34 mins when a McLaughlin corner was headed home from close range by McClelland for the equaliser giving Jack Glenn no chance. Ballymoney piled on the pressure and a brilliant shot by Gerald Gillan on 36 mins was scrambled clear by Jack Glenn in goal with Allen closing in for the rebound. Allen came close again on 39 mins during a period of Ballymoney pressure shooting just wide. With half time approaching a Gault clearance found Stewart who turned and shot deflected over for a corner eventually cleared by Watson to create a chance at the other end, Semple bringing a good save out of Coyle on 43 mins.
McLaughlin came close with a rasping drive on 44 mins Jack Glenn well beaten. The home team continued to press and McLaughlin again fed Stewart with a tantalising cross for the striker to head just wide.
Ballymoney started the second half as they had done for most of the first, dominating play and when Mark Gillan was pulled down outside the box McLaughlin curled the free kick on to the head of Gault the latter heading just wide on 48 mins. Gerald Gillan got procession inside the visitor’s box eventually feeding McLaughlin who dispatched the ball goalward and wide of Jack Glenn in the visitors’ goal on 50 mins to put the home team 2 – 1 up. Ballymoney piled on the pressure and a speculative shot come cross from Coyles drifted goalwards looping over Glenn in the visitors’ goal at the back post to put the home team 3 – 1 up on 55 mins.
Allen tormented Buchanan down the left getting in himself on the hour for a shot on goal just over. Ballymoney continued to press an on 68 mins Mark Gillan chased down a lost ball and pressurised Crown robbing the defender on the by line and crossing low and hard into the box for Allen to blast home from close range giving Glenn in the home goal no chance for 4 – 1 on 73 mns. With time running out Ballymoney used all their subs but failed to clear a rare visitors attack, the ball falling to Robinson who shot past Coyle in the home goal 4 -2 on 85 mines. Newbuildings had their man of the match, goalkeeper Jack Glenn sent off for a stupid off the ball incident when he fouled Dickson after clearing a Ballymoney attack.
Final Score: Ballymoney United 4 Newbuildings United 2
Ballymoney Utd Colts v Coleraine Colts Riada Stadium 16th March 8pm ko. Strabane Athletic v Ballymoney Utd 19th March 2pm ko