NAFL Division 1A
Saturday 27 October
Orangefield 3 – Downpatrick 2
After a two week break Downpatrick went into this game full of high expectations having won their last three league games. The game got off to a dramatic start, when within ten minutes Downpatrick found themselves one down and a man down.
Gerard Daly was adjudged to have fouled the Orangefield striker just inside the box and as he was the last man the referee was left with no other option but to produce a red card. With a few positional changes on the pitch, seeing Conor Curran moving to left back, Downpatrick set about trying to claw their way back into the game.
Within ten minutes Downpatrick found themselves with a perfect opportunity to get back to level terms when they were awarded a penalty of their own. Conail McGrady was fouled inside the Orangefield box. Eoin Boyle took responsibility for the spot kick and expertly dispatched the kick into the bottom corner of the net leaving the keeper with no chance. The sides went in level at half time.
Downpatrick came out brightly in the second half with Barry Treacy and Conail McGrady both being industrious down both flanks. In the middle of the park Mark Feenan continued to make surging runs to help support Boyle up front. Fifteen minutes into the half Feenan played a glorious ball over the Orangefield defence; Boyle raced onto the ball in the box and unleashed an unstoppable right footed half volley across the keeper into the net to give 10 men Downpatrick the lead.
This goal seemed to spark Orangefield into life and they began to apply pressure on the Downpatrick defence of Terence Bell, Gerard Collins, Kevin Gracey & Curran. The Downpatrick management made several changes bringing Peter Turley and Sean McMahon on for Conor McKenna and McGrady.
Orangefield’s equaliser came from another penalty after Collins fouled the Orangefield player trying to clear the ball at a corner. Downpatrick keeper Conan Russell again was given no chance from the spot kick. Orangefield were reduced to ten men also with their midfielder receiving two yellow cards.
As the match entered the final five minutes both teams searched for the all important third goal which came in the form of another penalty for Orangefield after Gracey was deemed to have fouled the centre forward.
Downpatrick can take heart from this performance, especially playing with ten men for eighty minutes. They are away to East Belfast next Saturday in the league.
Downpatrick 1) C Russell 2) T Bell 3) G Daly 4) G Collins 5) K Gracey 6) C Curran 7) C McGrady 8) B Tracey 9) M Feenan 10) E Boyle 11) C McKenna 12) G Trueman 13) S McMahon 14) P Turley.