Downpatrick under 14’s come up short in the quarter final of the shield, click on the link below to read more…
Saturday 7th November – Lisburn Invitational Junior League Shield ¼’s under 14’s
Downpatrick FC 3 v Windmill Stars 4
The inclement weather was a major factor in today’s match, Downpatrick continued with a 4-5-1 set up, quickly getting into their stride and playing with some style. The opposition were unable to get control of the ball. The midfield of Tom Savage, Connor Rogan, Ethan Artt, Jack Fitzsimons and Oran Bolton were working tirelessly. Andrew McLean had a lone role and was a constant thorn for the Windmill Stars defence.
Dylan Connolly, Conaill Gardiner, Sean Og Burns, Brian Kennedy and Andrew McGrattan were trying to play football from the back, but, the wind was a major factor, the ball kept going long and possession was lost. Downpatrick were pushing hard, but, poor control in certain quarters meant additional pressure from the opposition.
With ten minutes gone McLean was put through on goal, but, flashed at the shot and missed the target. Bolton and Artt were having joy along the flanks, however decision making meant that play fell down. The midfield was holding onto the ball too long and kept putting the defence under pressure when possession was lost.
One such play led to poor control in the defence, as a result the defender tried to make up for the loss of control, but, their impetuous play led to a penalty, which was scored. Immediately, Downpatrick were quick to react, playing football along the ground. A few minutes had passed when Bolton received a pass in his own half; he played a split pass through the oppositions defence. McLean ran on to the pass and travelled about twenty yards before scoring with a low shot to bring Downpatrick level.
Downpatrick were working hard and the defence were soaking up a lot of pressure, Og Burns and Gardiner more than most. Another defensive clearance from Kennedy when he headed the ball deep away to the opposition half, led to the second goal; the ball went to the Windmill Stars goalkeeper who lost the ball from pressure by McLean; which allowed him to pick up the ball thirty yards out and he ran unchallenged and scored into an empty net.
Downpatrick were playing neat and tidy football, but, another error in midfield led to the equaliser, the player turned back into the middle of the pitch, lost control of the ball, Windmill Stars got the ball and passed to the left winger and he fired home from the edge of the box. Breen was brought into action and we went to a 4-4-2 formation, but, we were not having much luck in front of goal, Artt, Bolton and McLean had half chances, but, didn’t really trouble the opposition. Windmill Stars were now controlling play and the defence were working overtime. However, they were unable to stop the third goal, Connolly led with his feet in an attempt to prevent a low shot going in.
Half Time: Downpatrick FC 2 v Windmill Stars 3
Downpatrick made whole sale changes at half-time, Colin Jones, Gregory Kelly, Nathan Maguire and Liam Toner were all introduced and a change in positions which made for some interesting play. The new personnel were working tirelessly and kept applying pressure in midfield and in the attacking quarters, but, with little joy. Almost immediately Downpatrick were on the back foot, and went behind further, another couple of missed tackles in midfield and defence allowed Windmill Starts to attack from the left wing, the player cut inside and shot at Connolly, who again went with his feet and missed the ball.
Downpatrick kept pushing at Windmill Stars and Breen, Bolton, Jones and Maguire were getting joy down the right channel, each player got shots away, some chances needed saving, but, other efforts were wide of the mark. A corner led to Savage hitting the post, but, the ball went wide from the rebound. A couple of bookings for defenders meant that we had to change personnel again and went to 3-4-3 formation. Bolton, Breen and Jones were getting most joy in midfield and attack. Toner was working extremely hard, but, he was not having much joy. Bolton put in some good free kicks and Downpatrick were unable to capitalise on play.
Bolton did get on the score sheet. He took a free kick from thirty yards out, he took aim and rifled a shot into the top corner. It was exciting play for last few minutes, Downpatrick tried in vain to get an equaliser. Breen had another chance, but, was unable to get his shot on target. The heavy pitch took its toll on the players, they worked tirelessly, but, got little reward for their efforts.
Today was difficult both on the pitch and off the pitch. A lot of disgruntled parents who bemoaned about player formation and behaviours were not acceptable at times, especially in front of the team. We as managers disagreed on the line up today, but, went with the formation from the previous week which had worked well.
We are still getting used to the panel and we sometimes get it right and also get it wrong. Can I remind people that teams are selected on performance, attitude and behaviour, in matches and at training sessions, nothing more? Also, with regard to the opposition we are down to play and how we think players will perform.
Now that we have played all the teams in the league, starting line-ups will be chosen accordingly. We are forthright in our decision making and players are not selected because of alleged comments and threats to the team.
Parents are quite welcome to come and discuss any issues they have with the management at any time if they so wish.
Next Match versus (Tollymore), Saturday 14th November 15, (Bear Park).