Mens first eleven lose out to late goal in Portadown

North Down headed to Portadown last Saturday for a Premier League fixture at Edenvilla.

Portadown opened at a fast pace  putting North Down under early pressure.  After  10 minutes a quick break down the right saw Portadown move the ball into the circle and slick passing allowed them to create space for a shot which gave Darren Rodgers no chance.  Harry Templeton made a good run but was well tackled before getting a shot away and the Scott Moore found space and crossed but no one was on hand to finish off the move.

Early in the second period Portadown won a corner but the shot went wide and then at the other end Blair won a corner but again the shot was wide of the target.  Just before halftime Portadown pressed for a second goal winning another corner but again their effort was off target.

Early in the third quarter Rodgers was called on to make a save from a well worked corner.  North Down were caught on the break and it was Jamie Spratt who managed to track back and relieve the pressure at the expense of another corner but this was easily cleared.  A cross from the right evaded Rodgers but somehow was scrambled off the line by Linter.  Chances from open play were few and both sides were relying on their corner routines but on the day these were not working.

All the excitement was kept for the final quarter.  Ross Blair was making strong runs winning a corner which was cleared off the line by a defender with the keeper beaten.  Spratt was unlucky to receive a green card for a tackle but this did not deter North Down and Linter made a strong run down the right winning a corner and this time Phil Templeton scored with a strong flick.  It was Portadown’s turn to be reduced to 10 men and North Down pressed for the winner, however with 2 minutes to go the left back  was allowed to burst through and after playing a one two scored a good goal but one which North Down will regret as they seemed to lose concentration and had nobody reacting to the break.

A disappointing end to a good game and one in which North Down deserved a point.They must improve on winning outcomes when the circle has been penetrated. Too often the players go for the impossible instead of doing the simple thing winning corners or getting shots away making the keeper make saves.

Burch Autos Man of the Match was Ross Blair

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