North Down thirds hosted Antrim seconds last Saturday on the new Regent House pitch in Newtownards. After back to back wins the thirds looked to maintain their momentum but knew that a challenge lay ahead following feisty and competitive games with the visitors last season.
The thirds started well and controlled the game creating chances following some good play. Antrim had their possession in spells but didn’t look like taking the lead based on chances created. Against the run of play however they did just that when a long reverse from the half way line was deflected past Sam Martin in goals. As usual going a goal down kick started the thirds and a three on one counter attack with Scotty Moore and Paul Revill finally found Sam Pyper at the back post to finish and equalise going into half time.
Captain Walls told a few home truths at half time and North Down came out fighting and soon went 2-1 up through Moore from a close range finish. The hosts were content with a goal to the good and in full control for the next 15 mins but a string of short corners and errors let Antrim back into the game and to the home team’s dismay quickly converted another to go 3-2 up on 64 minutes. Determined to get something from the game North Down pressed higher and higher up the pitch and with 3 minutes to go won a penalty corner. A smart ‘special play’ was called from Pyper who picked out the impressive Jonny Linter at the top of area. Linter slapped low and hard into the crowded circle and with Moore’s experience the forward knew a deft touch was all that was needed and the ball was deflected into the roof of the net.
The points were shared in a tough 3-3 draw but North Down know that it should have been a win and going forward need to step up the gears from the off and see games out when in control.
Man of the Match: Paul Revill