NAFL – 12 January 2104
Dundonald FC 2 Downpatrick FC 3
Downpatrick’s first league fixture after the festive holiday resulted in a welcome three points in what was a great game of football from start to finish.
A bright start to the game by both sides led to some neat passing exchanges. It wasn’t until a blind pass from Barry Treacy into midfield that Dundonald took the lead. The error took the Duns striker one on one with keeper Conan Russell and he slotted past him to put the hosts one nil up. Downpatrick settled themselves and got back on level terms on 15 minutes when Treacy’s good work down the right resulted in Stephen Galbraith volleying home for the equaliser.
Downpatrick put the foot down and took the lead on 34 minutes when top striker Galbraith raced clear. He calmly rounded the keeper and slotted home. Downpatrick kept pressing and great football from Conor McKenna and Andy Baggley lead to chances for Conaill McGrady and Chrissy Mullan but the score line remained 2-1. Dundonald didn’t lie down and were starting to put pressure on Downpatrick’s defence and only a superb save from keeper Russell kept them in front at the break.
Half Time : Dundonald FC 1 Downpatrick 2
The second half started in the same manner with quick neat football from both sides but Downpatrick’s quality was there for all to see. Midfield duo McKenna and Baggley where starting to dominate and pick their passes as the game opened up. Mullan was the obvious danger man and got his goal on 60 minutes after solo work down the left wing by the relentless Conaill McGrady. He then played the ball into the box for the striker Mullan to double the visiting teams advantage. As the Dundonald started to tire it looked only a matter of time before Downpatrick added to their lead, but a combination of poor finishing and poor decision making kept the score at 3 – 1.
With nothing to lose Dundonald changed their system and pressed ahead but found Barry Fitzsimons, Mark Curran, Matthew Carson, Blaine Connolly and keeper Russell a tough nut to crack. With the game in the 94th minute Dundonald got a consolation goal but Downpatrick left the Billy Neill Playing Fields with all three points.
Downpatrick: 1) C Russell, 2) B Fitzsimons, 3) B Connolly, 4) M Carson, 5) M Curran, 6) C McKenna, 7) B Treacy 8) A Baggley, 9) S Galbraith 10) C Mullan 11) C McGrady 12) C Killen, 14) C McGarrity 15) G Collins.