Bissett grabs point with late equaliser
Ballywaltrim FC 1, Celtic Stars 1: Mark Bissett was Ballywaltrim’s hero last Sunday as his 92nd minute header earned them a deserved point in their Division 2 clash.
The Bray side had fallen behind to an own goal after 11 minutes and it looked like they were heading for their third league defeat of the season until Bissett nodded in Darren Devlin’s free kick.
It was the home side that started the brightest after Devlin had slipped the ball through for Ryan Babel-esque winger Stephen Murphy but his low shot was well gathered at his near post by Celtic’s goalkeeper Keith Collins.
Disaster struck for Ballywaltrim when they fell behind against the run of play it has to be said after Robert Ryan’s cross-cum-shot forced a Ballywaltrim defender who shall remain anonymous to bundle the ball into his own net.
On the 20 minute mark Darren Devlin wasn’t too far away from scoring with a 25yard effort but his shot was just off target.
Eleven minutes later Aaron Meaney tried to go one better than Devlin with a long range effort of his own but it flew just over the crossbar.
Clash then went in search of a second and almost had one when TJ Byrne’s shot from 12 yards was blocked by the knee of Rob Green look-alike Leigh Murphy in the Ballywaltrim goal and the rebound was hit wide by Conor Byrne.
The visitors were then the width of the crossbar away from doubling their lead five minutes before the break when TJ Byrne let rip with a free kick 20 yards out and the ball skimmed the crossbar and over.
At the start of the second half then Mark Collins had a halfchance to grab himself a goal after Ryan was adjudged to be onside by Willie Whelan and his cutback found Ryan, who’s shot from 12 yards was blocked away for a corner.
The 54th minute produced another halfchance but this time it fell to the side that were trailing. Aaron Meaney sent in a left- footed cross from the right and although Tarik Taha couldn’t connect with it, Devlin dove at full stretch to connect with it but couldn’t force it in.
There was then a lull in the match for 20 minutes before the home side missed a sitter to level the scores.
Devlin’s ball in from the right found an unmarked Mark Bissett at the back post and the substitute somehow failed to score but he did make up for it later on.
Three minutes were left when ‘keeper Keith Collins spilled a long ball forward into Devlin’s path but the midfielder’s effort was inches wide of the target.
It was two minutes into injury time when Ballywaltrim got the equalizer they deserved.
Taha was fouled out on the right and Ballywaltrim manager Tommy Murphy ordered Devlin to take the resulting free kick. Devlin then took the Celtic defence by surprise by dinking the ball to the back post where Bissett forced it in to his team-mates delight.
Man of the Match: Sean O’Brien ( Ballywaltrim). Bray’s answer to Xabi Alonso.
The Ballywaltrim team.