Injuries hamper Under-14 hope against Swifts
Ballymena United Youth Academy Under-14's welcomed Sion Swifts to Allen Park in the NIBFA National League Cup group stage.
BALLYMENA UNITED YA U14 2-5 SION SWIFTS
NIBFA National League Cup - Group Stage
Date: Wednesday 15th March 2017
Venue: Allen Park - Kick-off: 7.00pm
Ronan McKillop, Joshua Balmer.
Ballymena United Youth Academy Under-14's faced Sion Swifts on Wednesday night in a League Cup group stage game at Allen Park.
United started at a fast pace and from kick off Timmy McClure raced through only for the Sion keeper to pull off an early wonder save. The Sky Blues kept up the early pressure and were playing all the football, the midfield linking up well with impressive wide men Clarke and McClure.
Sion Swifts forced a rare corner and as has been their niche against United this season, forced the ball home from close range, their physical size once again causing United a problem. Still Ballymena were moving the ball well at every opportunity and went close through McClure and Clarke.
Into the second period and they were back in the game with some lovely combination play down the right. Scott McCullough, Ronan McKillop and Timmy McClure with a flowing move, McClure crossing as midfield dynamo McKillop raced in to hammer home. Sion again rarely threatened but United had lost defensive duo Sam Millar and Callum Cochrane to unfortunate injuries once again and this was compounded with McKillop having to leave the fray with a muscle injury.
Gradually the Tyrone lads imposed themselves as United struggled to re-organise. Sion broke to take the lead and a tidy corner move sent them two clear. Some lovely skill from Joshua Bamber saw him create space to finish with aplomb and it was game on once more.
A United free kick went narrowly over and in the aftermath Sion Swifts broke again for a fourth to kill the game. Uniteds smaller side physically tired in the closing stages but the lads can be proud of an excellent footballing display, commented on again by many neutrals present.
Injuries have been cruel on the squad this season at crucial times in games but the team look forward to their NI plate quarter-final next week against Bertie Peacock Youth.
Man of the Match: Timmy McClure