A late late goal denies Downpatrick three points which looked against the odds in a poor first half showing, click on the link to read more
Saturday 19th November – NAFL Premier Division
Immaculata FC 3 v Downpatrick FC 3
This game was always going to be a close game especially after Downpatrick winning the previous encounter in the Border Cup Semi-Final. Grosvenor Park is always a hard place to go to and on any other occasion Downpatrick would be happy to come away with a point especially with their first half performance but in the second half they upped their game and understandably felt disappointed with the draw.
In the opening half hour the visitors were getting beat two nil, Immaculata’s first goal came on ten minutes when their striker cut in from the left wing and hit a low shot which appeared to be heading for Michael McKenna’s hands before a wicked bounce changed the direction of the ball. McKenna could only watch as the ball went by him into the net. Then two minutes before the half hour mark a long ball from the Immaculata left back was flicked on and deceived the Downpatrick defence and the home side striker slid the ball past McKenna.
Five minutes before half time Downpatrick were thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a free kick in a promising position after Jack McLaughlin was fouled on the edge of the box. Philip Traynor placed the ball down before whipping a low shot round the wall and into the bottom corner.
Half Time: Immaculata FC 2 v Downpatrick FC 1
At half time Downpatrick made a substitution with Christian Holland coming on for Peter Telford, he slotted into defence and Barry Holland moved into midfield. This reshuffle had a positive affect with Diwnpatrick starting to get control of the game. On the hour mark Downpatrick scored their equaliser, again from a set piece. The free kick was taken by Christian Holland on the right hand side of the Immaculata box, the substitute whipped the ball into the far top corner giving the keeper no chance.
Downpatrick were piling on the pressure and as the game entered the final ten minutes they got their noses in front for the first time in the game. Good play between Stephen Galbraith and Traynor before Galbraith played in Tony McIlhone who had the strength to hold of the defender. McIlhone surprised everyone when he hit his shot early from 25 yards he didn’t give the home keeper any chance to get himself set and the ball rocketed past him into the back of the net.
Controversy reigned with Immaculata’s equaliser when the referee awarded a free kick on the edge of the Downpatrick box, he then signalled to the Downpatrick players that the play would only resume when the whistle was blown. But as Michael McKenna was trying to organise his defence the Immaculata player was allowed to hit a free kick into the net much to the anger of the Downpatrick players. Despite the protests from the Downpatrick players the goal was allowed to stand.
Downpatrick: 1) M McKenna 2) M Holland 3) M Carson 4) B Holland 5) J McLaughlin 6) P Telford 7) B Treacy 8) R Kerr 9) P Traynor 10) E Boyle 11) A McGarry 12) S Galbraith 14) C Holland 15) T McIlhone