ANTRIM Seconds entertained near neighbours Mossley Thirds in a Junior League match at the Paddy Marks Arena on Saturday.
While the Antrim team dilly dallied in their attacking build up the visitor’s quicker and more direct play paid off when they shocked the Antrim team by taking a 3-0 half time lead.
They scored their first goal when an Antrim defender was caught in possession to allow the Mossley forward the time and space to step into the circle and crash the ball high into the net past the helpless Antrim goalkeeper Matty Whiteside in the 17th minute.
The ball from the first meaningful shot from an Antrim forward crashed off the post and deflected away to safety in the 20th minute.
Antrim squandered a couple of penalty corners shots and the ball was cleared up the left where the skilful winger was allowed to run the ball along the bye line before laying off a perfect pass for the centre forward to slam it into the net for the 2-0 lead in the 22nd minute.
Three minutes later in a break out from deep in their own half the ball was quickly played into the Antrim circle and swept under the diving Whiteside into the net to give them the 3-0 lead.
Antrim had several shots on goal before the half time whistle but the Mossley goalkeeper was there to save and kick the ball away to safety.
Antrim’s half time team talk saw several positional changes and from a more positive attitude they won a penalty corner in the first minute of the half.
The ball rebounded from the penalty corner shot, off the goalkeeper and in the ensuing scramble it was forced back into the net to reduce the arrears.
Antrim won another corner in the 38th minute but the goalbound shot was too high and the free out was awarded to Mossley.
As the game progressed Antrim slowly improved and although the Mossley team were tiring they were still doggedly hanging on to their lead.
Then in the 60th minute from a break down the right Kane fired the ball into the goalmouth where it was somehow slammed into the net to bring the score back to 3-2 in Mossley’s favour.
Antrim increased the pressure and won several corners all of which were cleared away.
Then in the 65th minute the ball was driven in to the Mossley goalmouth where Kane somehow pulled it back from under the goalkeeper’s pads to find the space to scoop it up back into the net for the equaliser.
Then in the 68th minute the Antrim pressure finally told when the ball deflected off a defender in the circle for Wilson to drive it into the net under the diving goalkeeper to complete this remarkable recovery and give Antrim the 4-3 victory.
Those three valuable points lift them off the bottom of the table.
Afterwards team thanks went to Gary Molloy and Stuart Campbell for their fair and expert umpiring of this game.
*Full hockey coverage in this week’s Antrim Guardian