County Down vs Strikers – Junior section match report

Jul 29, 2015 | Junior Section

A superb hat-trick from Leo Brown was the catalyst as County Down earned their second win of the tournament by defeating Strikers 6-0 at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney.

The County took the lead with their first chance on 5 minutes as a great team move broke the deadlock. A good ball from Jack Chambers found Lee Bailie with the full-back finding the run of Jack Henderson. The midfielder fizzed a strong cross into the penalty area and Brown had the simple task of finding the net.

Moments later, it was 2-0 as Andrew Gordon found the net as he followed up on Dean Truesdale’s shot which cannoned back off the far post. Truesdale was having a field day on the left-hand side and he was sent through by Henderson but David Calva made a great save.

The Strikers couldn’t get time on the ball to create any clear cut chances with Leamzy Valdez having their only attempt in the first-half which sailed over the crossbar.

Halfway through the opening period it was 3-0 to Down as Lumi Kanwei was fouled inside the penalty area. Brown stepped-up but was denied by Calva and a goalmouth scramble ensued which resulted in Akira Suzuki scoring an unfortunate own goal.

However, Brown atoned for his penalty miss on 20 minutes as another cross from Truesdale found the striker and he finished with aplomb to virtually seal victory.

Brown nearly grabbed his hat-trick before the interval as the impressive Henderson found the forward and he beat his marker with a magnificent touch, but he couldn’t convert his chance.

Andrew Gordon was chasing a brace and he had the first opportunity in the second-half for Down, but his audacious chip was saved by Alejandro Espinoza. However, the match ball was to belong to Brown as he curled the ball from 25 yards by the ‘keeper to secure a brilliant hat-trick.

To their credit, Strikers tried to play football and had their best of the match as Derick Pinto clipped the ball over the ‘keeper but was denied by a superb goal line clearance from Down’s Callum Carson.

Ten minutes from full-time, Down made it 6-0 and it was Truesdale who played an instrumental part as he robbed the ball from the Strikers defence and crossed for Gordon who finished with ease for his second goal.

Further chances fell for Down with Tom Mathieson denied by Espinoza, before Henderson smashed the crossbar via a deflection as the County ran out worthy winners.

Jonathan McNabb