Vital points lost

North Down travelled to Friends’ School, Lisburn on Saturday to play South Antrim in a league fixture knowing that a win was necessary as they try to keep the pressure on leaders Newry.

North Down opened at a fast pace and won a number of corners in the first few minutes. They were unlucky when an early whistle denied them a goal when Simon Watt had a rebound from a corner dispatched into the net. The resulting corner was cleared but almost immediately they took the lead when Andy Forrest got the vital touch in front of goal.

South Antrim slowly played their way into the game and from their first corner after 15 minutes Glass squeezed the ball past Gareth McBride. Five minutes later and North Down were back in front. Michael Black played a superb ball to Watt and his cross was deflected into the roof of the net by Tom Donnan. Poor tackling and bad distribution allowed South Antrim back on level terms before half time. A first time effort rattled off the bar and the rebound was scrambled home despite the efforts of Matt Wilson.

The second half was played at a furious pace with neither side able to hold onto the ball for long periods. Chris Speers gave back North Down the lead when he roofed a short corner but again North Down were guilty of not playing out time. They allowed the home team to control the game and they deservedly equalised from a corner to make it 3-3. They then should have gone ahead when awarded a penalty but McBride made up for his rash tackle when he saved with his feet from Glass. South Antrim were not to be outdone and went in front for the first time when the visitors’ defence was cut open and the centre forward nipped in to score. In the final minute, with North Down throwing everything forward, Phil Wilson managed to squeeze the ball home for a hard earned point.

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