Downpatrick 0 Lisburn Rangers 2
Downpatrick went out of the Border Cup at the hands of Lisburn Rangers but they should have wrapped the game up in the first half.
In the first five minutes Andrew Telford’s corner cross bounced around the goal mouth and was cleared away only to find Noel Corrigan on the edge of the box who volleyed the ball which which went through the mass of players to hit the cross bar.
1o minutes later Andrew Telford had a chance to put Downpatrick in front when the ball was passed down the right wing by Holland to Galbraith and he squared it to Telford but the keeper made a crucial finger tip save.
On the kick out Lisburn had their first chance of the game but it went wide. On the 12th minute Downpatrick were awarded a free kick outside the box but Stephen Galbraith shot wide. Galbraith had another chance two minutes later when he was put through by Garth Telford but keeper made another good save.
Lisburn had a few chances on the break but went wide or over the bar. Downpatrick should have scored on a number of occasions as they foraged ahead into the Lisburn half but did not take their chances. There were further misses from Telford, Galbraith, Curran, Young and Corrigan.
Downpatrick paid for this on the 42nd minute, when out of the blue, Lisburn broke down the left wing and the ball was passed across the box to Dean Heasley who slipped the ball past keeper Gordon to put his side one up just before the break.
As the whistle blew for the second half, Downpatrick came out playing on the offensive again looking for that equaliser that was to elude them for the rest of the match. They had numerous chances to bury the visitors but a combination of bad luck and lack of edge cost them the game.
The Downpatrick front line looked formidable enough with Stephen Galbraith and Neil Young lurking up front. Both wings made good plays down the field and a number of excellent crosses were made by Andy Telford and Gareth Telford. Downpatrick midfield came to life too and for a while the game looked to be going Downpatrick’s way.
This half, similar to the first was peppered with opportunities for the home side. The first real excitement came when Stephen Galbraith broke into the Lisburn goal area and turned his opponent to shoot at goal only to be just over the bar. A short time later he blasted again from 40 yards and was just marginally off target, the frustration showing.
Brendan McMenamin came on in the second half for Downpatrick and certainly made a huge effort to spice up the attack on Lisburn Rangers with a number of challenges breaking past their defence. He sparked into life as showing the right blend of guts and determination and put the Lisburn defenders on the ropes on a couple of occasions.
Neil Young too made an excellent cross early on in the second half but there was no-one at the business end to knock it in for a goal.
Noel Corrigan too played his part and made an excellent cross across the back of the keeper’s box just shaving the heads of Galbraith, Young and Telford.
But Lisburn were not giving up and were also in attacking mode when on a number of occasions winger Stephen Shanks was probing the Downpatrick defence.
The heart must have been severely challenged as Lisburn took another goal with half-time sub Johnny Greg receiving a cross and launching a rocket at 10 yards past Gordon to shake the net with 15 minutes left to play. Downpatrick came out fighting again and Galbraith had another shot just over the bar. The Lisburn defenders were not giving Downpatrick time to settle and compose their shots with the result of snatching at the ball taking place.
Downpatrick at times nevertheless showed they had possession for the bulk of the time and handled some excellent close passing attacks but their finishing needed more luck and a sharper edge.
Lisburn were not impressive, yet won by a margin of two goals. They seized their opportunities well when they came. Downpatrick may have been too anxious in this early season match as their forwards made a large number of efforts to score. Their football looked overall superior, but the goal scoring confidence will take a little longer to hone. The talent is there.
If their shots were lower and on target they should have easily won by a very comfortable margin.
Downpatrick: Kieran Gordon, Gary Trueman, Christian Holland, Kevin Gracey, Joe McMahon, Noel Corrigan, Declan Curran, Gareth Telford, Stephen Galbraith, Neil Young, Andrew Telford. Subs: Kevin Trueman, Damien Turley, Brendan McMenamin.
Lisburn Rangers: Chris Stewart, Ryan Crawford, James Adams, Stuart Cree, Scott Woods, John Larnoour, Andy Scott, Davy McGath, Chris McGaharan, Dean Heasley, Stephen Shanks. Subs: Denvir Taggart, Johnny Gregg, Simon McKenzie.