After the disappointing result against Newry in the semi-final of the Linden Cup North Down were determined to show an improved performance against fellow league contenders Portadown. Coach Peter Whyte had analysed Portadown’s past performances and developed a game plan which Portadown struggled to break down. This resulted in North Down maintaining their 100% record with a 1-0 victory.
The game started at a fast pace with Portadown controlling possession but North Down were quick on the break when possession was lost. After 5 minutes North Down won a corner and when the ball was stopped illegally by a foot Andy Forrest stepped up and hammered the penalty past the home keeper. A similar situation arose minutes later but this time the umpire awarded another corner. Play was confined to midfield for long periods with neither side able to create clear cut chances.
The second half was more open as Portadown went for the equaliser. This allowed North Down more space and they looked dangerous on a number of occasions on the break. Simon Watt found himself through with a one on one with the keeper but Knipe made the save. Then a Speers’ short corner was cleared off the line with the fullback bemused as he had no idea where the ball was. At the other end McBride made a couple of saves from short corners but otherwise Adgey and his well marshalled defence stood firm.
Another top class performance will be required this Saturday when North Down entertain Newry in another six pointer. A win in this game would leave North Down clear at the top of the league at the half way stage.