Three goal win for Under-16's against Plunkett
Ballymena United Youth Academy Under-16's faced St. Oliver Plunkett on Saturday in the NIBFA National League.
Ballymena United Youth Academy Under-16's were back in action from a 14 day break since their impressive win against Ballinamallard United at the Showgrounds. Plunketts had a hit and miss start to the season with some mixed results leading into the game.
The Sky Blues began putting pressure on in the first minute with a cross from Joel Taylor being cleared away. The overlapping runs from both full backs were causing all sorts of problems with Jack Rainey as an outlet on the left delivering some dangerous balls into the middle. One of these almost fell to Adam Adair sliding in but a vital touch from the defender turned it away from the open goal.
Matthew Lorimer got on the end of good attack but his shot was smothered by the goalkeeper. Jamie Gribben cut inside from the left and curled a shot onto the post from the edge of the box, and Adair had a header come back off the crossbar. Some driving runs from Matthew Patterson were creating space for the front players and it looked a matter of time before the goal would come, and it came in style! After a period of pressure, Max Davidson picked up the ball from deep and smashed a shot into the top corner from 25 yards.
With some controlled possession the home side saw the half out at 1-0, maybe slightly disappointed that they hadn't scored two or three more.
The second half began progressing from the first. The West Belfast side unable to cope with the attacking football on display from the home side. Gribben hit the post a second time from a good header after a Lorimer cross and Adair continued to test the defence. Oliver Hampshire and Aidan McCluskey were providing an extra man in the midfield making attacking runs from the back, and eventually the pressure told.
Some good passing saw a ball in the box bobble up and Adair bravely attacked it to nod the ball into Gribbens path, and the Magherfelt man made no mistake. A knock the the head meant that Adam Adair had to be replaced, however this brought another set of problems with Lewis Mearns, who wasted no time getting onto the scoresheet by calmly slotting away after a through ball.
Mearns almost doubled his tally with an audacious overhead kick, however the shot came down off the bar, bounced and came back out. No goal said the referee to keep the score at 3-0. Jack Agnew tested the keeper with a header and Filip Zdonek caused problems off the bench.
The final whistle blew amidst sighs of relief from the away side as they were well dominated by the sky blues who hit the woodwork an astonishing 4 times.
Ballymena United YA Under-15 team: William Crockard, Joel Taylor, Oliver Hampshire, Aidan McCluskey, Jack Rainey, Jack Agnew, Matthew Patterson, Max Davidson, Matthew Lorimer, Adam Adair, Jamie Gribben. Subs: Jamie Neeson, John McAllister, David Heaney, Filip Zdonek, Lewis Mearns.