Downpatrick came away with a point from a match which they felt they should have won, click on the link below to read more….
Saturday 11th March – NAFL Premier Division
Rathfriland Rangers 3 v Downpatrick FC 3
Downpatrick came away from Rathfriland on Saturday afternoon feeling like they had lost a game which they dominated for long periods of time. Playing Rathfriland for the first time since the Border Cup defeat, Downpatrick were looking to continue to set the pace at the top of the league.
Downpatrick started the game brightly despite having to make a few personnel changes due to players serving suspensions and injuries. The visitors opened the scoring on six minutes, striker Philip Traynor was fouled out on the right hand side of the pitch. From the free kick Neil Taggart sent over an inviting ball for midfielder Peter Telford to head the ball home from 12 yards out.
Downpatrick continued to dominate with Rathfriland rarely troubling the visiting keeper Michael McKenna, around the twenty minute mark Downpatrick doubled their advantage. Good link up play between Terence Bell and Barry Fitzsimons allowed for the ball to be played through for Mark Holland, he controlled the ball before unleashing a shot low and hard from a tight angle into the back of the net.
Half Time: Rathfriland Rangers 0 v Downpatrick FC 2
In the opening five minutes Downpatrick could and probably should have extended their lead, Traynor was played in one on one by Telford only to see his shot go over the bar. Then good work down the right wing from Holland before he played in a cross which the Downpatrick players some how failed to connect, with the goal at their mercy.
Just after the hour mark the home side pulled a goal back, a cross from the left wing caused confusion in the Downpatrick defence and ricocheted to the Rathfriland striker who made no mistake from his first time effort. Then with ten minutes to go Rathfriland got back on level term, Downpatrick failed to clear their lines and from the edge of the box the home player saw his shot cannon off a Downpatrick player and completely wrong footing Michael McKenna.
Credit to Downpatrick they didn’t let the set back affect them and had two chances to restore their lead through the industrious Aaron McGarry but couldn’t get the final touch to put the ball in the back of the net. Then as the game entered the 90th minute McGarry won a free kick thirty-five yards from goal, Taggart again provided the perfect ball for Holland who rose highest to head the ball home to make it 3 – 2.
Deep in injury time Rathriland scored a controversial equaliser, a ball in from the left to the Rathfriland striker who was standing in an offside position. As the Downpatrick players stood waiting on the referee’s whistle the striker controlled the ball and hit a shot but despite Holland best efforts to keep the ball out, his touch fell at the feet of the Rathfriland player who made no mistake.
Downpatrick: 1) M McKenna 2) B Fitzsimons 3) C Holland 4) M Carson 5) N Taggart 6) N Walsh 7) T Bell 8) P Telford 9) P Traynor 10) M Holland 11) A McGarry 12) C McCarron 14) J McLaughlin 15) R Kerr