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First eleven disappoint against Portadown

North Down welcomed Portadown to Comber on Saturday for a Premier League fixture confident of getting back to winning ways but some poor decision making resulted in Portadown taking maximum points.

Both sides started gingerly probing for openings.  A great overhead pass from Jonny Linter found Josh Gilmore but Gareth Bailie just failed to get a final touch.  At the other end Jamie Orr cleared the danger with a well-timed tackle. On 7 minutes Portadown were awarded a free but the umpire changed his decision to a corner after the ball had been accidentally knocked away.  From the resultant corner, despite valiant efforts by Jordan Linter, the ball entered the net for the opening goal.  Shortly afterwards Portadown broke with pace after a North Down player was caught in possession and their winger scored with a strong reverse shot.  Just before the end of the quarter another pass from Linter found Gilmore and this time from his cross the ball was scrambled into the net by Scott Moore.

The second half saw both sides fight for supremacy but defences held firm.  Phil Wilson broke and won a long corner but this was easily cleared before Portadown won a corner at the other end but the shot was easily saved as Peter Gray made a good block to keep Portadown out.

The third quarter followed a similar pattern with neither side able to dominate. Portadown broke from defence, the North Down defence was outpaced and this allowed the winger to score with a strong shot making it 3-1 to the visitors.  Bailie picked up a loose ball in the circle but his attempted reverse shot flashed across the goal with no one able to make contact.

North Down came out in the final quarter in a determined mood.  Jonny Linter made a strong run deep into the Portadown half but his pass was cut out and cleared.  The same player won a corner and this time goal a game Gareth McKeown slotted into the bottom corner.  Linter and Blair combined but as was the case all day no one was able to get a touch on the cross.  Gray then made a fine save to keep the eager Portadown forwards out but as always happens with a team pressing high up the pitch for an equaliser, there is a danger of being caught on the break.  With 3 minutes remaining Portadown took their chance and, with the home defence backing off, the winger crossed for a simple tap in leaving the final score a disappointing 2-4 pushing North Down nearer the bottom of the league table.

Burch Autos Man of the Match was Jonny Linter.

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