United youth team unlucky to lose to leaders

Ballymena's Leon Bones manages to kick the ball away from his Cliftonville opponent during their match at Ballymena Showgrounds. INBT47-249AC
Ballymena's Leon Bones manages to kick the ball away from his Cliftonville opponent during their match at Ballymena Showgrounds. INBT47-249AC

Ballymena United’s youth team put up an impressive display on Saturday before eventually losing 2-1 to leaders Cliftonville.

The fact that the game was played on the Showgrounds 3G meant it was never any doubt and the clash of fourth against first proved a good one.

In the 32nd minute the Sky Blues gave away a needless freekick which resulted in Cliftonville scoring to put them in the driving seat.

Ballymena were in control in the second half and on the 51st minute the Sky Blues scored from a short corner which was whipped into the back post, evading all the players but up popped Paul Rodger, one of the smallest men on the pitch, to get the equaliser with a well placed header giving the keeper no chance.

With Ballymena on top, Nixon hit an unstoppable shot which resulted in the Cliftonville keeper pulling off a top save.

On the 71st minute Cliftonville were awarded a corner and junior international player Mooney powered a header into the net giving the Ballymena keeper no chance.

United: Rowe, Sloan, Logan, McCartney, Corry, Bonnes, Mcneill, Rodgers (sub Woods 67), Fyfe (sub Douglas 73), Calderwood, Nixon.