Two for McKeown but it’s hard work against Antrim

North Down entertained Antrim in the Premier League on Saturday at Comber Leisure Centre and were very lucky to secure their third victory of the season.  North Down gave a very inept performance and allowed Antrim to boss the game for long spells.

They had the ideal start when Gareth McKeown scored after 10 minutes but instead of building on this they allowed Antrim to bully them and control the game for long periods.  Had Antrim taken their chances and had Andy Coates not been in fine form the game could have been out of reach by halftime.  Antrim did equalise before the break when a poor clearance from defence allowed them to get a simple tap in at the far post. In between they won a number of corners which were well saved by Coates.

The second half followed a similar pattern with North Down struggling to lift their game.  Antrim had chances to take the lead but again could not find a way past Coates.  It was only in the last 10 minutes that North Down exerted any pressure.  They had two great chances to take the lead, firstly Stevie Dalzell rounded the keeper but shot wide with the goal at his mercy and then it was Gilmore’s turn when he shot wide from six yards out.  At the other end Antrim hit the post following a short corner.  North Down got the breakthrough with 7 minutes remaining.  McKeown found space in the circle and unleashed a reverse shot past a bemused visitors’ keeper.  Antrim piled on the pressure but were unable to breakdown the home defence.  This was a very important win for North Down but they will need to raise their game next week when they travel to Bangor for a top of the table clash with the seasiders.

PMB Man of the Match: Andy Coates

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