North Down men’s thirds travelled to Lisburn to face a tough South Antrim side in their opening league cup fixture. North Down soaked up pressure for the first 15 minutes without conceding. As the game went on the boys grew in confidence and had numerous opportunities to take the lead. North Down looked dangerous. A misplaced pass by the North Down defence on the halfway line gave South Antrim a clear break through on goal before they slotted the ball past keeper Roger Graham for the home team to take the lead. After conceding this sloppy goal North Down needed to find a way back into the game with John Clarke and Andrew Linter on the wings providing good pace and skill. Eventually North Down found their way back into the game after a surging run by Christopher Drysdale up the right hand side allowed Sam Brown to set up skipper Sam Pyper who beat two players before scoring on his reverse to make it 1-1 at half time.
After the break both teams came out all guns blazing. Either side could have taken the lead, with North Down missing numerous penalty corners. As the clock ran down it was end to end stuff. Paul Beaney playing at right back put in many strong tackles to push the South Antrim threat back. James Miller-Hogg also put in a strong performance in midfield. However with 2 minutes to go South Antrim scored to narrowly win 2-1.
For North Down lessons will be learnt, however this was a much improved performance with many positives to bring to the next match. Special mention to Andrew Linter making his Senior debut for the club.
PMB Man of the Match: Paul Beaney.
Report by Sam Brown.