Ballymena boys catch eye of former Man United star Paul Scholes

Ballymena United youth team pictured with former Manchester United and England star Paul Scholes during the local boys' trip to Manchester last week.
Ballymena United youth team pictured with former Manchester United and England star Paul Scholes during the local boys' trip to Manchester last week.

It was a case from Scholes to goals as Ballymena United’s youth team completed a successful trip to Manchester last week.

The Showgrounds party ran into former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Scholes in their opening match, when his son was playing for United’s opponents.

Ballymena United's Chandler Douglas with former Manchester United star Paul Scholes.

Ballymena United's Chandler Douglas with former Manchester United star Paul Scholes.

Royton Town are the equivalent to a top amateur team over here they finished fourth in their own Manchester league, only losing 7 out of 32 games last season.

Ballymena started this game like a house on fire when new signing Jack Campbell sent Stewarty Nixon through on goal to score with a well struck shot past the keeper in the second minute but Royton scored within five minutes to equalise.

Stewarty Nixon, who made his first team debut in the final game of last season, again scored to put United and but again Royton equalised and the game was end to end an a very fast pace.

United gave away a penalty to let Royton take the lead for the first time in the game.

The Ballymena United youth team panel pictured at the National Football Museum.

The Ballymena United youth team panel pictured at the National Football Museum.

Straight after halftime substitute Robbie Perkins whipped in a first time cross for Stewarty Nixon to complete his hat-trick.

Royton added two more goals through former Manchester United trainee Dempster as United succumbed to what manager Clifford Adams believes was the best team has side has ever come up against.

The result didn’t last long in the memory for the players once they noticed former Old Trafford legend Scholes watching from the sidelines.

“The man was an absolute gentleman and posed for pictures with every single player,” said Cliffy.

The following day United produced a stunning performance to record a 3-0 win over Stalybridge Celtic, who are a full-time academy side at under-19 level.

Chandler Douglas opened the scoring in the second half with a free kick before new signing Jack Campbell added a second with a well-taken header. Another new arrival this summer, Jamie Spiers, completed the scoring.

“It was a great end to an extremely good tour,” said Cliffy.

“As well as Paul Scholes, we also met boxing announcer Michael Buffer, who was there for the weigh-in for the Quigg v Martinez fight, while we were at the National Football Museum.

“The lads were a tremendous credit to the club and their families with the totally professional way they conducted themselves throughout the trip,” added Cliffy.