Having won the earlier encounter at Comber, North Down travelled to Mossley last Saturday full of confidence and belief that a similar result could be achieved but alas they returned home well beaten by 6-2.
North Down opened strongly and took the lead after 15 minutes when Stevie Dalzell was well positioned at the back post to slot home a cross from the left. Mossley replied with a series of corners and although the first two were saved by Andy Coates the third was expertly tucked into the corner of the net. With 10 minutes remaining in the half Mossley took the lead with a strong reverse shot and shortly afterwards added a third from a rebound after Coates had saved the initial shot at the corner. This goal to make it 3-1 was hotly disputed by the North Down players as everyone bar the umpire saw the ball come off the attacker’s foot.
At the break North Down were still confident they could get back into the game and 5 minutes after the restart Josh Gilmore gave them hope when he converted a cross from Ross Linter at the back post. However, this was closely followed by another crucial umpiring decision. A North Down shot from a corner hit a Mossley defender as he ran out but the umpire blew for dangerous play and awarded Mossley a free instead of another corner to North Down. Mossley caught North Down on the break and scored a fourth to restore their advantage. At this stage in the game Mossley were finding too much space and their pacy forwards were causing havoc aided by some dreadful defending from North Down They added two further goals to run out comfortable and deserved winners.
North Down must not let their heads go down when things don’t go their way as this only passes the advantage to the opposition. Things don’t get any easier for North Down as this week they entertain league leaders Cookstown at Comber Leisure Centre with a later than usual start at 4.00 pm.
PMB Man of the Match: Andy Coates