South 1st XI 3
Going into Saturday’s game with Campbellians, South knew they faced another tricky encounter with the reverse fixture, earlier in the season, ending in a close 3-2 victory.
The game started at a frenetic pace with South asserting their table topping pedigree early on.
A quickly taken free hit by Adam Glass who - with some intricate stick-work - carried the ball along the baseline, enabled South to play in Simon Watt who then coolly squared the ball to the back post for Maguire to dispatch and give the hosts an early lead.
However, after the strong start, the momentum switched to favour the visiting Campbellians side, who were the stronger team for a large part of the first half.
The pressure soon told and after numerous short corners, the away side found the backboard through a strong hit into the bottom corner.
The game ebbed and flowed for the remainder of the half. Chances for both sides came and went with neither finding the net.
That was until Nathan Gamble cleverly found a defender’s foot in the D to win South their third short corner of the game.
A slick routine, straight from the training ground, enabled Chris Henry to guide the ball past the Campbellians ‘keeper to give the hosts a 2-1 advantage going into the interval.
The majority of the second half was fairly equal with strong battles in the midfield area, producing numerous yellow cards for both sides.
It was Campbellians who came closest to scoring first in the half, with an opportunity to draw level.
A temporary lapse in the South defence left a Campbellians forward unmarked, with only the keeper the beat, but he failed to convert the chance - something he would later rue.
With 15 minutes to go, the game began to open up, with lots of space in the middle of the pitch.
Campbellians dropped to 10 men due to a forceful challenge leaving Chris Redpath on the ground.
South Antrim quickly made use of the man advantage with a swift counter attack. Simon Watt played in Matthew Getty, who - with his stocky build - held off the defender before passing back to Watt, who caressed the ball past the keeper and into the bottom corner.
With four South players being yellow carded in the final 10 minutes, it was no surprise that Campbellians hosted a late surge of pressure which resulted in a consolation goal from another short corner.
However, South managed to dig deep and earn another well fought 3 points which keeps them sitting pretty at the top of the table. The Lisburn boys will be hoping to maintain this superb run of form when they face Antrim this weekend.
That game pushes back at 3pm at Friends’ School.