DOWNSHIRE YM 0 SIROCCO 1
SIROCCO began the game in impressive fashion and took early control of the game as Downshire were slow to get up to speed and they can thank Ryan Woods for a couple of good saves and some excellent defensive play from central defenders Marty Chappell and Andy Martin to keep the score sheet blank.
But slowly the Reds worked their way into the game with Johnny Gibson heading a Kelly cross just over and then just on the half hour they might have taken the lead when Jordan Gibson and Justin Kelly combined well before the ball was driven into the middle to cause confusion in the Sirocco defence and Kyle Mulholland fired the ball over the top from close range. Then almost immediately Sirocco broke away along the left and their big striker drilled the ball home from close range. The final few minutes of the half saw a sustained spell of Downshire pressure, a lovely cross field pass from Perry McIlroy to Gerry Tabb whose shot was well saved, was followed by a strong run from Graeme Davis that brought another fine save, finally a Davis run from deep in his own half ended with a cross to Mulholland that was headed narrowly wide
Downshire had improved as the first half had developed but the second half saw them raise their game to a new level and Sirocco can be very thankful to take away full points as the home side squandered some excellent goal scoring opportunities, whereas their visitors failed to create any chances. Some super play by Gerry Tabb assisted by McIlroy saw the ball played in to Johnny Gibson but his goal bound drive was diverted wide by a defenders hand. Then as Davis was put clear by Chappell he was clear of the last defender only to be called back for a very dubious offside. Midway through the half and Davis found himself ten yards from goal with no defenders close but he failed to tuck the ball away before being closed down. Then probably the best chance of the game as Simon Reardon sent Davis away and as he delivered a fantastic cross to the back post for Gibson to race in only to shoot wide from a few yards. Downshire Seconds had another excellent away victory over Newington Rangers. This Saturday Downshire travel to Rathfriland for a league game with the Seconds having no fixture.