It took fifteen minutes before either side had a real effort in goal. It came in the form of a well stuck 25 yard free kick from Sean Brennan but Co.Down keeper Smith got down brilliantly to push to away to safety.
Co.Down took the lead in the 20th minute when number 9 Ferris produced a moment of magic, chipping the goalkeeper and finding the top corner from 35 yards.
Vicente Besuijen got revitalised Southampton back on level terms after the break with an emphatic left-footed thunderbolt after finding time and space in the area via Sean Brennan’s pass.
Co.Down were edging the game and almost took the lead after good hold-up play by Callum Ferris before the striker picked out the excellent Jake Corbett in the area and Jake’s effort fizzled narrowly over the crossbar.
Down went agonizingly close again to winning it minutes later when Ethan Wynn broke through the Saints back four and dragged a shot across goal which deflected inches wide off Ryan Cluett.
Full Time Co Down 1-1 Southampton
Report by Jamie Megarry