Maghera 0 Downpatrick 2
Downpatrick went into Saturday’s top of the table clash with Maghera knowing that a defeat would probably mean them conceding the title to the counterparts so nothing less than a win would do. From the first whistle Downpatrick looked the hungrier of the two sides and started controlling the play and showing some great football which was a treat to watch at times.
Maghera were the bigger of the two sides and you could see why they have won so many games this season with just sheer physical presence, at times they attempted to bully Downpatrick out of it, but the Downpatrick boys were more than fit for it and stuck to the game plan drilled into them all season by the management duo of Doyle and Smyth of playing good passing football. This approach shone through and won the game for Downpatrick in the end.
The first few chances came the way of Downpatrick and Chris Perry was unlucky twice with two carbon copy moves down the left flank involving Sean McMahon and Conor Killen but Perry was thwarted twice by the opposing keeper with two great saves.
Downpatrick’s defence was standing strong and a few good crunching tackles from Gary Trueman and Vincey Perry set the tone for most of the first half, Conor McKenna was his usual busy self and at times was unplayable as time after time he was the link between defence and attack with his partner in the middle of the park Paul Brady mopping up all the leftovers.
Maghera were limited to having a few long range efforts that didn’t really trouble Robbie Hagan in the Downpatrick nets and there closest effort of the half coming from a header into the side netting from the Maghera striker. Downpatrick finished the half strongly and were unlucky not to go in a goal up when McMahon ran through on goal only to see his effort fly past the post.
The second half started at a frantic pace and Downpatrick’s two wingers Perry and Gary Ross started getting a lot more service down each flank which the two full backs found hard to handle, the opening goal came around the hour mark and Johnny Kent picked the ball out on the left wing and delivered a cross that David Beckham would have been proud of and Gary Ross leaped highest at the penalty spot and headed in of the far post for a great goal.
Downpatrick were now well on top and time after time they were looking dangerous with Ross causing havoc down the right and created two more chances that Killen and McMahon failed to convert.
The second goal came on 70 minutes with another well worked move down the right involving no less that 5 different players with McKenna picking McMahon out with a low cross around the penalty spot, McMahon still had plenty to do and with a diving header glanced the ball in of the far post to complete the move of the match.
Downpatrick them made two changes bringing off Ross and Killen who had worked tirelessly all day and repalce them with Joe McNabb and Shane Matheson, both substitutes were involved straight away and linked up well with Matheson taking on 3 players and striking one from 25 yards and with the Maghera keeper waving the ball wide it swerved and came back out of the up right. Jamie Kelly then came of the bench for Perry and went straight through on goal beat the keeper but his goal was adjudged to be offside.
Maghera tried to throw everything but the kitchen sink at Downpatrick but they defended bravely putting there bodies on the line and Vincey Perry and Matthew Carson putting in a joint man of the match performance in the central of defence were outstanding along with Kent and Trueman.
It was a great all round performance from the away side and they came away with there reward of a well earned 3 points. A special mention must go to the referee who handled the game very well when a lesser ref might have spoiled the game as there was some contentious moments which he dealt with very well.
Downpatrick: 1) R Hagan 2) G Trueman 3) J Kent 4) M Carson 5) V Perry 6) P Brady 7) C Perry 8) C McKenna 9) C Killen 10) S McMahon 11) G Ross 12) J MacNabb 14) S Matheson 15) J Kelly
Downpatrick FC – Club Notes
Week Seven Strictly Come Dancing Update.
* This week saw the dancers have their dress rehearsal and with only one week to go until the first show, and they all got a real eye opener into what’s going to be involved on the actual nights. Having not been at any of the lessons recently it was plain to see just how much everyone has improved in such a short period of time and some of the outfits on show will be worth the entrance fee alone
Tickets for both semi-finals having been very popular and are selling out fast, if anyone still wants a ticket please contact Tony McShane 077 168 539 90.
Next First Team Match
* Downpatrick firsts entertain Dundonald this Saturday at Rosconner and the seconds entertain Tollymore 2nds in Dunleath, both games kick off at 2.00pm