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Saintfield Utd Falter To Determined Downpatrick Visitors
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Irish Cup Round 1

Downpatrick 5  Saintfield United 2

After last week’s winning result Downpatrick went into this game against neighbours Saintfield United with a lot of confidence and in the end their superior fitness added to getting them over the line. In the first half they didn’t have things all their own way and credit to Saintfield for how they performed in the opening exchanges.

Downpatrick could have found themselves two or three goals down in the opening 15 – 20 minutes, great pressure from Saintfield saw them hit the bar and have two excellent chances cleared of the line by Barry Fitzsimons and Matthew Carson. Downpatrick came more into the game and on the half hour mark went in front.

Great build up play by the impressive Andrew Telford in midfield, he exchanged passes with striker Stephen Galbraith before playing the ball down the right hand side to the on rushing Barry Treacy. The winger took the ball in his stride before crossing the ball low inside the six yard box, the goalkeeper tried to clear the ball but only managed to hit his defender and the ball rebounded into the net to give Downpatrick the lead.

This goal should have been the catalyst for Downpatrick to push on and take control of the game but they failed to do so and five minutes before half time they gifted Saintfield with an equaliser. An uncharacteristic mistake by goalkeeper Connan Russell, when he tried to take the ball around the advancing striker when he should have cleared it, allowing the Saintfield striker to disposes him and tap the ball into an empty net.

( Half – Time: Downpatrick 1 – Saintfield United 1 )

After some stern words from the management team Downpatrick came out in the second half determined to stamp their authority on the Irish Cup tie. Within five minutes of the restart Downpatrick regained the lead. Downpatrick won a corner on the right hand side which was taken by Barry Treacy. The corner was cleared out to defender Fitzsimons who intelligently played the ball back out wide to Treacy who crossed to the back post where Conail McGrady controlled the ball and laid it back to the waiting Telford who calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner.

Downpatrick’s midfield duo of Conor McKenna and Andrew Telford were beginning to get control and it was Telford’s surging run from midfield which set-up Downpatrick’s third goal. He ran past three Saintfield players before teeing up striker Stephen Galbraith to score. Before Downpatrick could settle Saintfield went up the field and won a corner, the corner was swung in to the back post to the waiting Saintfield player who headed the ball back across the net and as he turned away to celebrate the joy was short lived as the ball struck the post and was cleared.

Downpatrick’s fourth goal was scored by Andrew Telford after some good build up play between Markie Curran, Blaine Connolly and McGrady, the ball being played into striker Galbraith who held the ball up until joined by Telford who sent the keeper the wrong way for his second goal of the day.

As the game entered into the final ten minutes, Saintfield scored a consolation goal after good work down the left hand side allowed the Saintfield striker to slide in a put the ball past keeper Russell. Downpatrick had several chances to score and in particular Andrew Telford who was searching for is hat-trick but was denied by some good saves from the Saintfield keeper.

With two minutes left on the clock man-of-the-match Telford finally got Downpatrick’s fifth goal and his all-important third goal after good work by winger Treacy down the right hand side. He played an inch perfect ball for Andrew to run onto and side foot the ball past the keeper.

Downpatrick: 1) C Russell 2) B Fitzsimons 3) B Connolly 4) M Curran 5) M Carson 6) B Treacy 7) A Telford 8) J Glennon 9) S Galbraith 10) C McKenna 11) C McGrady 12) G Collins 14) M McGarrity 15) G Trueman