United come from behind to salvage a point

Coagh United 2 v 2 Ballymoney UnitedFollowing their 4 – 1 drubbing of Bangor away in midweek with goals from Gerard Gillan (2) David Nicholl (1) and Mark Gillan (1) Ballymoney travelled to Coagh on Saturday with an air of confidence.

However as most teams in this division have found out over the season so far things don't always work out how they are supposed to.

Both teams started this game in frisky manner with Coagh applying the early pressure creating an early chance for Lamont to bring a good early save from Martin.

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Ballymoney settled and set up a chance for McLaughlin when Denver Gage headed into his path but the striker shot just wide.

Coagh continued to press and again Lamont found a way past the visitors' defence only to be thwarted by the advancing Martin doing enough to put the forward off.

Ballymoney came close again on the half hour when McLernon sent a looping header goalward catching Pollock of his line scrambling to touch the ball over for a corner.

The home team piled on the pressure and this time Martin brought off a great save from McCortison.

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The visitors' defence was again under pressure on 40 minutes when they failed to clear a Coagh attack and in the scramble Martin brought off another great save before the danger was cleared.

The danger was no sooner cleared when the home team launched another attack and the ball fell to the unmarked Dallas to rifle past the hapless Martin in the visitors' goal.

With half time approaching Ballymoney came close when McLaughlin broke through and should have scored deciding to lob Pollock in the home goal with the target at his mercy.

Half time: Coagh United 1 v 0 Ballymoney United

Ballymoney were forced to reshuffle at half time with crucial injuries to central defenders Gareth Hill and Michael McQuitty.

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Undaunted by this set back Ballymoney launched the first attack of the half coming close with a Wilkinson header.

On the hour Coagh had another effort from Lamont well saved by Martin and then Dallas rounded the visitors' defence and let fly with a fierce drive across the face of the Ballymoney defence and wide.

Following that attack Coagh pushed up the right and Lamont put a great pass into the path fo Dallas for the easy task of beating Martin in the visitors' goal for 2 – 0.

This setback seemed to spur Ballymoney to greater things and they went on the attack coming close when Nicholl was sure he had scored until Thornton diverted his effort just wide for a corner.

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From the corner again Nicholl came close bringing a great save from Pollock.

Ballymoney continued to press and were rewarded for their endeavours on 75 minutes when an attack down the left by Nicholl combining with Wilkinson who crossed for Mark Gillan to head past Pollock for a great goal.

The visitors' tails were up now and Coagh struggled to contain the relentless attack and once again Nicholl and Wilkinson worked a way round the home defence and again Wilkinson put the ball into the box for Mark Gillan to dive bravely among Coagh defenders to head past Pollock for the equaliser.

Ballymoney were on fire now causing Coagh all sorts of problems, clearing their lines to anywhere they could.

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The visitors nearly snatched the winner in the closing minute but Coagh cleared off the line.

Final score Coagh 2 v 2 Ballymoney United

Ballymoney United: Martin. Ritchie. Wilkinson. McQuitty. Hill. McLernon. Denver Gage. McLaughlin. Nicholl. Francis McKenna. Mark Gillan. Subs: Paul Keane. Lee McClelland. Connor McKenna.

Ballymoney United are home to Donegal Celtic on Saturday 13 March. Kick off 3pm at The Riada Stadium.

Club secretary Gerry McAleese said: "I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Ballymoney United Youth Academy to thank all the people who bought crossword sheets to help with the expenses for their forthcoming trip to the Holland Tournament.

"Thank you very much.

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"The closing date for completed entries is Saturday 13 March and in the event of a tie the winning entries will be drawn on Sunday 14 March in The Ballymoney United Social Club at 5pm."

The Hairy Gerry Table Quiz in aid of the Samaritans takes place this Friday evening from 8.30pm in Ballymoney United Social Club.

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