else if (is_ie4up)
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Match : 3rd XI v Antrim 5ths
Date : 2001-11-03
Venue : A
Score : 0-4
By 3rd XI Captain
When it comes to the crunch who comes up trumps? At 11.45 on Saturday morning the 3rd's were looking at gong to Ballymena with 8 players; (Soupy was hanging his head and pretending he really cared about us - he'd probably eaten all the pies as well as stealing half the team!!), Jontie spirits a long lost cousin and Paul Ireland out of the forgotten wastes of North Belfast and at least we can turn out with a credible number.
Ballymena Showgrounds are quite easy to find if you ignore the directions and follow the signs.
The match was not as one sided as it would appear from the score line. With a man short it was obviously necessary, at least for the first half, to play with two forwards and try to contain the Antrim attack. The team played well and it was a simple defensive error that let the Antrim forwards through the centre to score the first goal. Despite some good build ups we were unable to capitalise on crossed balls, due in the main to the midfield having to lie too far back. Before the interval Antrim had managed to add another to the score line.
There was not a lot to say at half time, but it was decided that with a 2 - nil score line we might as well push up and risk the opposition breaking through. The strategy was working reasonably well but Antrim were awarded a penalty ten minutes into the half. Although having realised which way the ball would be struck age proved a decisive factor in preventing the goalkeeper from stopping the goal!!
Despite all our efforts Antrim succeeded in sealing the match with a 4th goal.
I there was to be a man of the match it would have to be Neil for finding enough players to make the trip worthwhile. As it is I have not singled anybody out as all played with enthusiasm and 100% effort. Nathan was tireless as usual and three newcomers all played a significant part. I look forward to seeing them again. Hopefully they will be able to attend training on Tuesday as I see 2nd XI potential at least.