14’s Suffer First Defeat

Under 14’s suffer their first defeat in a keenly contested match on Saturday morning, click on the link below to read more………..

Saturday 19th September – Lisburn Invitational Junior League under 14’s

Downpatrick FC 1 v Lisburn Youth 4

Downpatrick started the game with gusto and they got at Lisburn Youth from the first whistle and played some intricate football, keeping possession of the ball and playing quick football which allowed for attacking football. Lisburn Youth were immediately on the back foot and Downpatrick were quickly into their stride. They boys were playing the ball form the back line into the midfield and up to the forwards, but, some poor decisions and control resulted in the play breaking down.

Nathan Maguire playing up front in a different role received a pass from Liam Toner, he ran onto the ball and a one-on-one with the keeper, he kept a cool head and slotted the ball home in the fourth minute, (0-1).  Toner was working hard, but, got no reward for his efforts. Downpatrick continued to move the ball well; the defence of Conail Gardiner, Sean Og Burns, Brian Kennedy and Gregory Kelly were performing well, stopping Lisburn from getting shots on goal. Ethan Artt was getting the ball a lot, but, some indifferent play meant the attacking play went astray.

Lisburn Youth were starting to get a foothold in the game due to Downpatrick’s poor play and indecision on the ball. The boys were falling back into old habits. Conor Rogan and Oran Bolton we working tirelessly, but, as quick as the ball went forward, Lisburn were picking up the pieces and began to play neat football and attack our goal. On one such occasion the boys lost possession at the halfway line and a couple of passes later in the Lisburn Youth team allowed for the midfielder to shoot from just outside the box, Dylan Connolly tried to palm the ball away, but, managed to put into his own net (1-1).

The boys tried in vain to get some momentum, changes in personnel Ethan Breen, Damien McDowell, Andrew McGrattan came on; Jack Fitzsimons went into centre midfield. They tried to play some football, but, Lisburn Youth were in control of the game, the defence were working hard to stem the flow of attacks. However, a missed header from the midfield allowed Lisburn Youth to gain possession in our box and they scored (2-1).

Half Time: Downpatrick FC 1 v Lisburn Youth 2

A few words were exchanged at half-time which allowed the managers and players to regroup. Downpatrick’s management looked at the positives form the first-half and identified areas that needed to improve on. They tried to build up the boy’s confidence and impress upon them the need to move the ball quickly; to be a little more proactive and move off the ball.

Again, shape and personnel were changed Colin Jones entered the fray. McDowell, Jones and Bolton tried in vain to get something going for the team, but, to no avail. The boys were displaying some nerves and were unable to compete fully with the opposition. They were not winning their own battles and Lisburn Youth were able to deal with anything Downpatrick threw at them. The midfield of Breen, Fitzsimons, Rogan and Artt were overrun.

The boys were endeavouring to try and play football, but, they seemed to be off the pace in midfield and up front in all aspects of play, apart from the defence. Downpatrick held onto the ball to long, or gave misplaced passes. The football became disjointed. As much as they tried to move the ball, it seemed to go to a Lisburn Youth player which allowed them to attack our goal constantly.  Connolly, Og Burns and Kennedy were constantly involved in play, but, could not prevent Lisburn Youth from scoring twice more to make the final score 4 – 1.

Speaking after the game the Downpatrick Management commented, ”Today was a very good experience for the boys’ event though they were beaten.  It highlighted the need for them to deal with the fundamentals of football and how to work for each other.  We were not disappointed in the play, but, the performance in the second half.   We are not worried about the result, we have emphasised the need for individual and team development for the whole season.  It is a stepping stone and sometimes a steep learning curve for them.

I hope the boys do not become too downbeat about events, after all it only our third league match as a team.  The players are still getting used to the demands of this league.

 It will take time for these players to adapt and adjust to a high standard of football that is required for them to compete in this league.  They will also have more bad days as well as good days.

Keep up the work and hard work will bring its own rewards”.