North Down entertained Annadale in a Premier League fixture last Saturday at Comber Leisure Centre and were defeated by 5-1, but it was a scoreline which did not give a fair reflection of the game.
Annadale took the lead after 15 minutes from a short corner. The play was switched and Coates had no chance with the shot. Although Annadale had more of the possession it was North Down who created the clear cut chances with quick incisive breakaways. Two chances fell to the unfortunate Mark Shannon at the back post but he failed to make contact with either. However North Down were rewarded for their efforts just before half time when Gareth McKeown equalised after the Dale defence had failed to clear.
The second half was controlled by Dale with North Down having few opportunities to pressurise the visitors’ defence. Dale got the perfect start to the half when they scored another corner after just 2 minutes. Their confidence grew after this and scored another corner shortly after to put the game out of North Down’s reach. They scored their fourth with 15 minutes remaining again from a corner and then completed the scoring with minutes remaining when the ball was not cleared after a Coates save. In between, North Down had their own opportunities from short corners but failed to test the keeper.
North Down play Cookstown in a rearranged fixture on Wednesday evening and then play Cork outfit Ashton on Saturday in a rearranged Irish Trophy quarter final at Comber Leisure Centre.
PMB Man of the Match: Gareth McKeown.
Report from Robin Mitchell.