North Down travelled to Stormont last Friday evening for a rescheduled Premier League fixture against Civil Service with a full squad of 16 players. This enabled coach Mills to give players time out when required and also to give some of the younger players valuable pitch time.
North Down opened at a fast pace putting the Service players under pressure. Gareth Bailie won a turnover ball and found himself clear in on goal but was unfortunate to see his shot rebound to safety off the post with the keeper beaten. With David Shepherd not available the short corner routine was not as sharp as normal and opportunities were wasted.
Service got themselves into the game and North down were on the defensive for the last 15 minutes of the half. Paul Montgomery standing in for McArthur in goal had to make a couple of smart saves to keep the Service forwards out. With penalty corner specialist Chris Barnes not playing their corner routine was not as lethal as normal although they crashed the ball off the post from the last hit of the half.
The second half followed a similar pattern with both sides having spells of territorial advantage but few efforts on goal were created. Short corners were exchanged but both sets of defences dealt well with their efforts. North Down discipline was again exposed and at one stage they were down to 9 players however the experienced Adgey marshalled his defence and they managed to hold out.
At the end both teams were satisfied with a point from an entertaining game.
Report by Rubin Minchen