NAFL Premier Division
Saturday 18th March 2017
Downpatrick FC 4 Crumlin United 0
Downpatrick FC showed their form with an excellent and confident home win over Crumlin United. This match was the first of eight straight home fixtures. And they did it in style as six players from their first team were not available through injury and commitments and the managers had to draw on the wider pool of players in the club.
But despite that, Downpatrick showed that they were top dogs on the day. One of those players returning was the impressive Barry Treacy who suffered a broken leg before Christmas not that you would have thought it by his sterling performance. He marked his comeback with a trademark free kick on twenty five minutes to open the scoring into top right hand corner after Andrew Telford was fouled. Downpatrick were pressing from the whistle, and looked the sharper side.
Andy Telford was impressive in the match too after a long lay off. He looked fit and hungry an this early effort of a chip over the Crumlin keeper was unlucky not to hit the net. And Ricky Kerr has a good first half with a solid workmate in midfield breaking into the forward position to put Crumlin under pressure.
Ten minutes later Downpatrick doubled their advantage, as good as their first goal was their second goal would have graced any football pitch in the world. A corner was taken by Christian Holland two yards outside the side of the box which the Crumlin defence could only send high into the air.
As the ball dropped it appeared that Philip Traynor was going to try and head the ball towards the goal with the back of his head but out of nowhere he connected with an unbelievable overhead kick and ball sailed into the back of the net. Definitely a contender for the goal of the year! Downpatrick were finding plenty of opportunities through the match and good chemistry between Philly Traynor and Ricky Kerr.
Half Time: Downpatrick FC 2 Crumlin United 0
Downpatrick had numerous chances in the second half to add to their advantage but a combination of difficult decision-making with one incident when Andy Telford was questionably brought down in the box and bad luck meant that they were unable to. With fifteen minutes remaining in the match they managed to score their third and secure all three points.
Traynor made an excellent solo run at the Crumlin goal but was eventually crowded out by three defenders, but he ground consistently at the Crumlin defence like a carburandum stone.
Traynor was again involved when he combined with Aaron McGarry down the left wing before bursting into the box and laying the ball back for Conor McCarron who had the simplest task of tapping the ball into the empty net.
Carson hit out a long ball to Telford who ran at the goalkeeper who just managed to get a hand to the ball to thwart his determined effort.
Crumlin did make a few charges at the Downpatrick goal but by and large they were fairly ineffective in their attacks as the Downpatrick back line was on form and they did try and close the deficit in the dying embers of the game but to no avail.
As the game entered the final minutes Traynor scored his second of the game and Downpatrick’s fourth. Under-19 player Andrew McCoubrey who has been starting for the seconds in recent weeks, was introduced and found himself one-on-one with the visiting keeper and as the keeper advanced McCoubrey sent a delightful lob goal-wards but saw it cannon of the cross bar. Like all good strikers do, Traynor was following up and tapped the ball into the back of the net.
Downpatrick will look to build on this performance in the coming weeks as they look to remain at the top of the Premier league table. Management were also happy that they were able to keep a clean sheet. Next up is local neighbours Drumaness Mills next Saturday at 2pm at Rosconnor.
The top teams in the Premier League are shaping up to have a very close shoot out to see who is league champion this year. Downpatrick is leading at the moment but Ards Rangers, Rathfriland Rangers and Crumlin Star are knocking on the door too.
Downpatrick: 1) M McKenna 2) M Carson 3) B Connolly 4) C Holland 5) R Kerr 6) A Baggley 7) B Treacy 8) A Telford 9) P Traynor 10) C McCarron 11) A McGarry 12) Adrian McCoubrey 14) Andrew McCoubrey 15) T McIlhone.