North Down thirds continued their recent good run with a confident display last Saturday running out 5-1 winners over Campbellians seconds at Enler Park.
North Down were keen to start well as they have often taken time to get going this season and they did just that, attacking from the off. Early on Sam Pyper found Scott Moore which a first time slapped pass and Moore was unfortunate not to deflect in. Kai Jenkins also caused the visitors early problems but again couldn’t quite find the final touch. After a brief spell of Campbellians pressure North Down took the lead. Good work through the middle from Paul Johnson and Andy Walls lead to Sam Pyper crashing a ball in towards goal and Scotty Moore deflected in brilliantly and took a hammering from the keeper for his trouble. Soon after North Down were two up. Josh Gilmore beat two men down the line and pulled back across past the keeper for Andrew Shannon who recovered from hitting the post to slide the reverse sweep rebound into the net. Gilmore nearly made it three but was denied twice by excellent saves from the Campbellians goalkeeper. Towards the end of the half the visitors had plenty of possession but didn’t really threaten Lee Brown in the home goal for the half to finish 2-0 to North Down.
The second half was very end to end with the play becoming stretched and both sides going close. Paul Beaney and Robin McMullan were doing well controlling the visitors’ wingers and launching attacks and eventually one of those moves lead to a third North Down goal. Andrew Walls surged down the line, into the circle, overpowered several defenders and then picked out Sam Pyper who tucked the ball over the keeper from the flick spot. However the game wasn’t over as following a neat move the visitors pulled one back with a clever finish. They then pushed on looking for second but were caught on the break with a fourth goal. A quick counter attack looked to have broken down but Kai Jenkins bravely and incredibly dived almost head first into a 50/50 challenge with the opposition goalkeeper! Kai won the ball and Mark Shannon gladly tapped it in to the empty net. North Down proceeded to create more chances and but for the excellent Campbellians goalkeeper the score could have been much more one sided. In the closing moments Paul Johnston made it five after an intricate short corner which Pyper dropped back for Johnston to finish.
This was a good performance from the thirds who will be happy with the excellent team performance and a result which makes amends for their 3-0 loss to Campbellians earlier in the season.