Down pegged back at death

Down pegged back at death

25 July 2018

DOWN heads were low at the end of this entertaining 2-2 draw as the after the county side conceded late on to give Newcastle United a share of the opening day spoils at the SuperCupNI.

At rain-lashed Ballymena Showgrounds and in front of the BBC cameras, the opening quarter of an hour was a competitive if uneventful spectacle with neither side causing the other much trouble.

On 15 minutes Newcastle provided the first item of note when Thomas Cole got his head to a cross but Dylan Stewart made a comfortable catch.

Three minutes later and the English side were ahead. There didn’t seem to be much on, but Kain Reed found a yard of space and dispatched a low, well driven shot that took a nick off a defender and just squeezed inside the Down post.

Down looked to hit back and on 21 minutes Weatherup drove inside before finding Jake Corbett and his speculative outside of the foot shot had to be well saved by the Newcastle keeper. 

With a minute of the half to run, Down found the equaliser after good play from Adam Carroll to the left of goal.

He could probably have taken aim himself, but instead found Ethan Wynne who took a touch and rolled ball past the keeper.

Down turned the match in their favour seven minutes into the second half.

From out on the left a long free kick from Glover found Carroll on the right side of the box and he caught the keeper flat-footed with a long, looping header that crept in just under the bar.

On 55 minutes Down had a chance to increase their lead when low cross from Ben Cushnie squeezed through to Weatherup, but his well-struck shot was straight at the keeper.

A minute from the end came the hammer blow for the county team.

Keeper Stewart had done well to push away a free kick, but he was powerless to stop the follow up from Jude Swailes, who hammered home to salvage a point for his team.

Down: Stewart, Smith, Conlon, Gemmell, O’Hare, Weatherup (Teggart 80), Corbett, Carroll (Ferris 58), Dinu (Cushnie 53), Glover, Wynne (McVeigh 75).