Once again, Ballymoney United were under strength for one reason or another as they took on Newbuildings United at home.
They came under the cosh as early as the third minute when Canning got round the back of the home defence one-on-one with Coyle in the home goal but the latter brought off a brave save at the feet of the attacker to prevent an early setback.
The game was played at a furious pace and the home team broke on 6 minutes with Gillan getting round the visitors’ defence to cross low and hard across the goal but to no avail as there was no support in the middle. Not to be outdone the visitors mounted a counter attack and came close on 17 minutes from a corner when Watson shot over from close range. Ballymoney continued to press and from a corner Fallon volleyed over on 15 minutes.
Newbuildings broke the deadlock on 21 minutes when a poor defensive clearance from a corner gifted Johnston, who blasted in to the roof of the home net giving Coyle no chance. Ballymoney continued to dominate the early play and a great through ball from McKenna put Lyons in one on one with Glenn in the visitors goal, the striker side footed past the advancing keeper and just wide of the post on the half hour. Newbuildings came close on 31 minutes when Robson blasted over after a corner. Ballymoney counter attacked on 42 minutes and McKenna pinned a perfect pass into the path of the lively Lyons who blasted into the side netting.
Ballymoney put the visitors on the back foot right from the start of the second half and a great solo run from Con Og Boyle brought of a great save from Glenn in the Newbuldings goal.
Ballymoney dominated this stage of play and a great shot from Craig on 53 minutes was parried into the path of McKenna who shot into a group of players and wide of Glenn in the visitors’ goal but cleared off the line for a corner. Ballymoney squandered chance after chance due to the final pass and came close on 82 minutes when Gillan shot across the face of goal wide of Glenn and cleared off the line by Johnston. The visitors brought a great save from Coyle in the home goal and prompted a counter attack where Lyons was fouled and McKenna blasted the free kick off the crossbar and wide with Glenn well beaten. McKenna was bundled to the ground as he tried a speculative shot on 89 minutes dislocating his shoulder in the process. Physio Shaw sorted out the injury and McKenna was able to continue. Glenn in the home goal rushed out and fouled Gillan on the by line giving away a penalty in injury time. McKenna took the responsibility and blasted the spot kick off the crossbar. No comeback from that, not Ballymoney’s day. Final Score: Ballymoney United 0 Newbuildings United 1
Ballymoney United: Coyle. McAuley. Con OgBoyle. Hanna. Gault. McKenna. Fallon. Dempsey. Lyons. Craig. Gillan. Subs: Cairns. McCook.