Five defeats in a row as South are stuck in a rut

South Antrim are now four points below third-bottom Newry. US1549-531cd
South Antrim are now four points below third-bottom Newry. US1549-531cd

South Antrim are still second bottom of the Premier Division after suffering a 4-1 defeat at NICS on Saturday.

It’s now five league losses on the bounce for the locals, who had been confident of ending that streak last weekend.

That showed in the early exchanges as South took the game to Service. However, it was the home side who scored through a trademark Chris Barnes dragflick, leaving Mark Hutchinson no chance.

Service soon added a second after a controversially raised ball into the D was dispatched. Despite being two down, South continued to dominate but squandered several good chances.

South were then denied a penalty stroke as James Brown’s shot was prevented from going in after hitting a service body on the line. Just before half-time, South had another glorious chance to get back into the game after Adam Marshall skilfully ran along the baseline but his ball across goal evaded everyone.

After the interval, South again battered Service for 20 minutes with captain Lee Marshall pulling the strings. Chris Henry was also threatening throughout and deservedly scored after a surging run to reduce the deficit.

Following this goal, South continued to press with Darren Hutchinson, James Brown and Matthew Getty all having good chances to pull the side level. However, NICS caught them out with a breakaway goal and soon added a fourth.

South must regroup before the likely season defining fixtures of North Down, Mossley and Raphoe next week.