The men’s thirds kicked off their season with a home tie against Instonians seconds in the Junior League 2 cup. The newly promoted thirds arrived to Comber in plenty of time to find Instonians changed and on the pitch over an hour before push back. Something they were not used to in Junior 3.
The game started with Instonians having all the possession but some last ditch defending and some great saves from Reece Glover kept them at bay. Then with a quick break away Sam Pyper struck with a first time effort to go 1-0, in his words it was ‘sublime’. Josh Gilmore collected the ball in the corner and crossed into the area for Pyper to finish with a first time effort into the bottom corner. This seemed to stir the opposition and within 4 minutes they were on equal terms, with some great individual play walking the ball to the bye line and then cheekily finishing at the near post to make it 1-1 at half time
The second half started with Instonians having most of possession again and making it 2-1. North down didn’t give up and even held out when down to 10 men for two minutes when Bryn Walker was green carded. Apart from that error he was one of the best players on the pitch. Again with a resolute defence and a few more great saves from Reece Glover, the thirds managed to hit Inst on the break again with Josh Gilmore finishing well on the reverse to make it 2-2 with 8 minutes left on the clock. The thirds hoped to hold out against a team who played two leagues above them last season but were undone 4 minutes from time when the Inst umpire awarded a somewhat dubious short corner which was scored with a good strike to the unsighted keeper’s left.
Overall it was a good all round effort from all sticking to the task and some good performances to give the thirds some hope for the rest of the season.
Man of the match: Reece Glover