SupercupNI Kicks Off With Down Going Well

The SupercupNI has got off to a great start with action packed soccer with lots of goals.
Match reports from Monday of Co Down Junior team v Charlton Athletic
Co Down Premier team v Newcastle United.
Down Junior 3-1 Charlton Athletic
Down juniors made a fantastic start to the SuperCupNI as they picked up a 3-1 win over stunned English visitors Charlton Athletic.
In manager Gary McAlister’s first game in charge of the team, the Down boys looked impressive throughout at rain-soaked Riada Stadium and had the lead within 55 seconds when Jonah Heron smashed the ball in after Joe Hopes’ initial shot was only half cleared.
Down captain Joshua Archer ready for the match against Newcastle Utd.

In what was a really bright started by the county, Charlton were penned in for the opening quarter of an hour with their only sight of goal being a shot from Jason Adigun that was deflected wide.

Down continued to make chances as the first half progressed and no-one came closer than Stuart McKibbin, who powered a back post header just over from a Davidson corner.
Jay Boyd was out of luck on 24 minutes when he couldn’t get on the end of Ben Hollinger’s cross and then minutes later Hollinger himself forced the Charlton keeper into a save. Right on the half-time whistle there was a let off for Down when Tolu Ladopo blazed over from a great spot inside the area.
On the other side of the break Down’s Jonah Heron went close to doubling his own tally when put through but keeper Watkins made a great stop with his legs.
Charlton were pressing hard to get back into the game and just as it looked as if they had Down under pressure, it was the county team who grabbed a second on ‘51. Lewis Davidson attacked from the right and whether he aimed a cross or shot into the area, it didn’t matter as the ball snuck inside the far post.
As the 60 minutes ran out Down put the result to bed when sub Jamie McDarby followed up on a short clearance to smash the ball in. Charlton would grab a goal back late in injury time through Ladopo but it was too late to prevent a winning start for the county.
Down team: Dalzell, Hopes, Rolleston, McKibbin, Archer, Locke (Madine 58), Magee (Clarke 49), Hollinger (Lusty 49), Heron (McDarby 55), Davidson (MacDonald 56), Boyd (Doyle 42).
The Charleton Athletic team.
Down Premier 2-2 Newcastle United
Down heads were low at the end of this entertaining 2-2 draw, as the after the county side conceded late to give Newcastle United a share of the opening day spoils.
At rain lashed Ballymena Showgrounds and in front of the BBC cameras, the opening quarter of an hour was a competitive if uneventful spectacle with neither side causing the other much trouble.
Captain for Co Down Dylan Stewart, second right, lines up against Newcastle.

On 15 minutes the ‘Geordies’ provided the first item of note when Thomas Cole got his head to a cross from the right but Dylan Stewart made a comfortable catch.

Three minutes later and the English side were ahead. There didn’t seem to be much on but Kain Reed found a yard of space and dispatched a low, well driven shot that took a nick off a defender and just squeezed inside the Down post.
Down looked to hit back and on 21 minutes Weatherup drove inside before finding Jake Corbett and his speculative outside of the foot shot had to be well saved by the Newcastle keeper. 
With a minute of the half to run, Down found the equaliser after good play from Adam Carroll to the left of goal. He could probably have took aim himself, but instead found Ethan Wynne who took a touch and rolled ball past the keeper.
Down turned the match in their favour seven minutes into the second half. From out on the left a long free kick from Glover found Carroll on the right side of the box and he caught the keeper flat footed with a long, looping header that crept in just under the bar.
On 55 minutes Down had a chance to increase their lead when low cross from Ben Cushnie squeezed through to Weatherup but his well struck shot was straight at the keeper.
A minute from the end came the hammer blow for the county team. Keeper Stewart had done well to push away a free kick but he was powerless to stop the follow up from Jude Swailes, who hammered home to salvage a point for his team.
Down team: Stewart, Smith, Conlon, Gemmell, O’Hare, Weatherup (Teggart 80), Corbett, Carroll (Ferris 58), Dinu (Cushnie 53), Glover, Wynne (McVeigh 75).