By Andrew McKibbin
North Down U15, captained by Josh Gilmore, met Civil Service in the first round of the cup on Friday evening under the lights at Ards Leisure Centre. North Down started the game at a blistering pace with numerous opportunities in the opening minutes.
The unfaltering pressure from the North Down side was rewarded with a short corner that Toby Fynn converted leaving the goalkeeper no chance of saving his dragflick. This break though seemed to give the North Down side a boost and Josh Gilmore, almost immediately, won another short corner. Fynn was on hand again, this time rocketing a dragflick into the top left corner of the Civil Service goal. Kai Jenkins had an attempt on goal, following a brilliant individual run, that was unlucky to strike the post but Gilmore was on hand to slot the ball home . The North Down side were unlucky to see a number of chances slide narrowly wide before Tyler Foster was able to capitalise on one of the countless chances and deflect the ball home at the back post. Fynn was unlucky not to complete his hat-trick on the stroke of half time when his dragflick sailed over the cross bar. North Down headed in at half time with a four goal lead which could have been more.
The North Down side were even stronger in the second half and it took only a matter of minutes for Nathan Grimshaw to open the second half score sheet, striking a bouncing ball under the outstretched keeper’s foot. North Down continued to press the Service defence and after Foster intercepted the ball, he made a superb run along the byline before squaring the ball to Gilmore who flicked the ball calmly over the keeper and into the goal. Jonny Linter made it seven with a fizzing shot from the top of the circle. North Down were awarded a number of short corners and after a switch Gilmore deflected the ball home at the back post completing his hat trick. Gilmore capped off a sterling performance with a 50 yard run beating a number of players before smashing the ball into the far corner of the goal.
An outstanding performance from this young North Down side was reflected in the score line. There were a number of noteworthy performances particularly that of Kai Jenkins, who was unlucky not to find himself on the score sheet but Man of the Match accolade has to go to the skipper and centre forward Josh Gilmore.
Many thanks to Davy Frazer also who umpired the game for the boys.