United Under-16s overcome neighbours in NIBFA Cup tie

A Southside player puts pressure on his Ballymena United opponent. INBT02-235AC
A Southside player puts pressure on his Ballymena United opponent. INBT02-235AC

BALLYMENA United under-16s progressed to the next round of the NIBFA CUp on Saturday at the expense of neighbours Southside, after winning 1-0.

Both clubs came into the game in confident mood with Utd sitting second in their league with games in hand and Southside current pace setters in their respective league.

Ballymena were first to threaten when Ryan Agnew had a good effort well saved by the Southside keeper and moments later the keeper again pulled off a fine save from Agnew as the first half ended scoreless.

Ballymena introduced all three subs at half time and it was to prove crucial as John Eddy Convery started to dictate the game from midfield with his tenacious tackling and distribution of the ball which allowed Agnew to deliver several crosses from the left which caused panic in the Southside defence.

Southside were not out of the game but Ballymena restricted them to long range efforts which never troubled Ballymena keeper Aodhan Tolan.

With time running out and the game heading towards extra time Ballymena got the all important breakthrough when Ryan Redmond put the ball into the Southside box and the ball fell kindly to Michael Tolan who waited until the Southside keeper committed himself and then calmly poked the ball into the net to put Ballymena into the next round.

United U-16: A Tolan, D Halliday, P Rodgers, D Woods, J Heaney, R Agnew, K Crawford, R Redmond, D Carlisle, M Tolan, J Cummings. Subs: A Weir, J Convery, A Graham.