South earn a valuable draw in fight for survival

Action from the match between South Antrim and Instonians, at Friends. US1549-537cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Action from the match between South Antrim and Instonians, at Friends. US1549-537cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

South Antrim travelled to Newtonabbey on Saturday for a tough away fixture against Mossley following their crucial 4-3 victory against North Down on Wednesday.

Due to their precarious league position, South Antrim knew that a getting any sort of result was imperative to them staying out of the relegation zone.

South took hold of the game early on by forcing multiple Mossley turnovers in the last quarter of the pitch. Unfortunately they couldn’t convert these turnovers into real goal scoring opportunities.

After the early pressure from South, Mossley started to get gain a foothold in the game. When South managed to gain possession they looked lively in attack with Adam Glass down the right hand side being backed up by Mark Gray.

The Mossley pressure eventually told when they forced a short corner after a crashed ball into the circle hit a South Antrim foot.

Mossley switched the eventual short corner where a scuffed hit managed to find its way into the South goal.

After the restart, South Antrim responded in the right way by creating a multitude of chances in the Mossley circle with great attacking play by John Semple, Darren Hutchinson and Chris Henry.

Around the 30th minute mark, South Antrim finally found their equaliser through Ward Phillips. Adam Glass managed to wriggle his way into the circle and hit a reverse stick shot towards the top corner only for it to be neatly deflected in by Ward Phillips.

The second half was a much tighter affair than the first half with both sides trading chances. Mossley began to look more dangerous and the pressure began to take hold after South went down to 10 men for a couple of minutes.

Mossley took the lead through a well struck short corner with around 15 minutes to go.

Once again however, South responded in the correct way by taking the game to Mossley. This sustained pressure eventually told when a crude stick tackle inside the Mossley area led to a South Antrim short corner. Knowing they needed a goal to save a point, South Antrim fell back to their signature short corner which Chris Henry duly converted.

The last 5 minutes proved a tense affair for South Antrim after they defended a barrage of Mossley attacks. Just as they thought they had secured the point, South Antrim conceded a short corner in the dying seconds. Mossley tried the same routine as their 2nd goal but this time they were denied by Adam Glass on the line.

A crucial point was secured in the battle to stay up and now they can focus their attention against Raphoe on Wednesday.