Downpatrick come from behind to score two goals and rescue a point against Rathfriland Rangers, click on the link below to read more…
Saturday 26th August – NAFL Premier Division
Downpatrick FC 2 v Rathfriland Rangers 2
Having suffered defeat against todays opposition only a few days ago Downpatrick were determined to secure victory on there own pitch and started the game with a lot of pressure. In the opening ten minutes they were thwarted twice, Tony McIlhone saw his shot saved before Jack McLaughlin squandered a one on one opportunity by sending his effort over the bar as he bore down on the Rathfriland goal.
As the game entered the half way mark of the first half the visitors scored the opening goal, Downpatrick tried to play out from defence through the returning Terence Bell but his pass into midfield was intercepted. The Rathfriland midfielder quickly played in his striker who was fouled inside the box giving the referee no option but to point to the spot. The visitor’s striker calmly put his spot kick to the keepers left.
Downpatrick tried to get back into the game before half time but found the visitor’s keeper in superb form as he kept out chances from Ricky Kerr and McIlhone. The home side also had a penalty appeal waved away by the referee as the ball appeared to strike the arm of the Rathfriland defender.
Half Time: Downpatrick FC 0 v Rathfriland Rangers 1
Rathfriland doubled their advantage minutes into the second half as Downpatrick were the architects of their own problems. A strong back pass back to the goal keeper resulted in Stephen Keenan miskicking his clearance which fell kindly to the Rathfriland striker who made no mistake.
Far from being disheartened the Downpatrick players set about trying to get back into the game, captain Barry Fitzsimons was a colossus at the back and helped propel his team as they searched for a goal. A change in formation, the introduction of youngster Joe Healy and the switching of Ricky Kerr to a more forward roll gave the Downpatrick that fresh impetus they needed.
Adrian McCoubrey won the ball in midfield and played the ball out wide to Jack McLaughlin, his first time cross went to the back post and was met perfectly by Philly Traynor. The striker made no mistake with a powerful header which finally beat the visitor’s keeper. Then two minutes later the sides were level, Traynor collected the ball 30 yards from the goal and went on a run beating two players before getting into the box and beating another two defenders and having the composure to slip the ball past the keeper for a fine individual goal.
Downpatrick now had their tails up as they went in search of a winning goal but the visitors also looked dangerous on the break. As the game entered the final minutes the hosts thought they had scored the winner, Jack McLaughlin played a lovely ball into the feet of Traynor, his first time flick went across the box, McIlhone tried to get the ball but missed it and Kerr ran in behind him to tap the ball into the net. But after a short pause the referee blew for offside much to the bemusement of the Downpatrick players.
Downpatrick: 1) S Keenan 2) T Bell 3) C Holland 4) B Fitzsimons 5) N Walsh 6) A McCoubrey 7) J McLaughlin 8) C McKenna 9) R Kerr 10) P Traynor 11) T McIlhone 12) J Healy 14) G Trueman 15) R Fitzpatrick