FOOTBALL: Christ’s Downed in Pre-season Test.
Champions Downing prepare for the season with a win.
Downing 3 – Christ’s 0
Two late goals added gloss to a hard-fought win for last year’s league 1 champions, Downing.
The match was one of the standout pre-season friendlies as Christ’s also had an excellent season last year, making it to the final of Cuppers and coming 3rd in the league.
It was never going to be easy for Christ’s to work their way back though, after Downing had taken the lead in the fifth minute.
A dangerous cross from the right forced Mitchell to deal with it and he was unfortunate to see his near post header go into his own net.
That goal marked a brief spell of dominance for the men in magenta. Ben Guest’s through ball crafted a one-on-one with the keeper that ended in a goalmouth scramble, doggedly defended by the Christ’s back four.
Downing continued to threaten with long balls and crosses, but failed to make anything more of their early chances.
Christ’s too had their fair share of chances early on, with captain and striker Owen Morgan being their main attacking outlet, fashioning several half-chances from the edge of the box. They struggled to retain possession though and as a result never managed to threaten for extended periods.
After an eventful 20 minutes, both sides tightened up at the back and defences dominated for much of the match, with Mitchell and Rob Dunn marshaling for Christ’s and Downing. Neither side looked able to get the critical next goal and every ball was closely fought for.
Downing came out on top in this early season tussle.
It took until the last 15 minutes for Downing to double their lead, with an unmarked Billy Fitton tapping it in after the keeper had parried into his path. The best was saved for last though, and from a corner in the dying minutes, Clark Glasgow showed class and inspiration to score a bicycle kick from close range.
After the game, Christ’s captain Owen Morgan was understandably disappointed, but saw positives in his team’s performance. “[The result was] disappointing obviously but we had a strong start, passing the ball well. I thought later on we were sometimes too quick to look for the long ball. Tiredness showed at the end with most of the squad having played in the old boys match yesterday or the blues trials this morning.”
Downing’s Rob Dunn told The Tab: “We’re pleased with the win, and a good effort from all the lads which is what’s most important right now. We’ve had a good intake of freshers and are looking forward to getting the season started now.”