North Down entertained South Antrim in a Premier League fixture on Wednesday evening at Comber Leisure Centre. This was a game of vital importance to both teams as they fight for their Premier League status.
South Antrim started at a fast pace and pressed high up the pitch putting the North Down defenders under early pressure. After 5 minutes a midfielder ran through the defence unchallenged and squared for a simple tap in. One minute later and the defence was again caught out and South went two up.
North Down slowly clawed their way back into the game with South happy to sit back and attack on the break. After 15 minutes North Down won a corner but McKeown’s effort rebounded off the post to safety. Shortly afterwards from another corner McKeown reduced the arrears. Just when it seemed that North Down were getting the upper hand another defensive horror let South in for number three. Just on halftime North Down won another corner but McKeown’s effort was cleared off the line with the keeper beaten.
Early in the second period North Down conceded a penalty but McArthur deflected the ball onto the post. At the other end a South defender kicked the ball away as Wilson was about to shoot. From the resulting penalty McKeown reduced the arrears. Donnan made a run across the circle but his reverse shot went narrowly wide. On a quick break a South midfielder created space and slipped a perfect pass to the right winger who scored with a strong shot. North Down piled on the pressure and won another corner which Shepherd scored. Despite dominating play they were unable to further breakdown the South defence and South ran out winners by 4-3.
PMB Man of the Match: Gareth McKeown
Report by Rubin Mitchell