Down seconds won their fourth game of the season against Mossley fourths last weekend. But the locals had to come from behind to win the Junior 3 tie.

Philip Brown skippered the side in the absence of Gary Tate and the striker accepted the responsibility with relish, grabbing a hat-trick to take his side's points tally to 12, setting the locals up nicely for this Saturday's game against Antrim thirds.

Richard Tarbotton showed his continued improvement for Down in the game played at the Comber Leisure Centre last Friday night and received great support from James Cunningham who has made a major contribution since his return to the side.

Tarbotton won a short corner in the second minute, but Gavin Ringland's shot was saved by the Mossley 'keeper while in the 14th minute, Cunningham set up Tarbotton, with the latter's shot flying agonisingly wide of the upright.

An uncharacteristic mistake by James Erskine, who played the ball across his own penalty area, set up a chance for a Mossley forward. Robert Hagan, who has been superb in the Down goal this year, produced a very smart save, but the rebound fell kindly to Stuart McClean who hammered it home.

The goal injected a sense of urgency into the home side and Stephen Ferguson whipped over a telling cross after a brilliant run down the wing in the 23rd minute, but no home forward could get on the end of it to deflect it goalwards.

Ten minutes before the interval relentless Down pressure resulted in Ferguson passing the ball to Paul Tate whose clever pass set up a chance for Adam McKee, but his shot flashed wide. With the interval approaching, the home side was eager to get back on level terms.

Ringland sent a teasing cross into the penalty area but Brown just failed to get on the end of it in the 27th minute. Five minutes before the break, Ferguson failed to react at the back post to a cross which took the Mossley 'keeper out of the game.

Three minutes before the interval Down were back on level terms. McKee intercepted a Mossley pass before spraying the ball wide to Tate who unselfishly picked out Brown who scored his first of the night.

Down were awarded successive short corners in the dying seconds of the half with shots by Ringland and Tate both well saved by the Mossley 'keeper.

Ringland almost gave his side the lead within a minute of the restart, but his perfectly executed reverse stick shot flew narrowly wide. Mossley won their first short corner of the second half in the 40th minute, but Hagan produced a fine block.

Two minutes later at the other end, Ringland, Tate and Brown were involved in an intricate passing move at a short corner which resulted in Gavin flicking the ball over the bar.

Cunningham set up Ringland in the 43rd minute, but the midfielder's shot was stopped on the line before Brown scored his second goal two minutes later after a pinpoint pass from Erskine. The home side was awarded a penalty stroke in the 55th minute but Brown's effort was saved. However, the stand-in skipper had the last laugh when he scored with just a minute remaining to secure another three points for his side after another tremendous pass from Erskine.

This weekend Down face Antrim thirds who are struggling near the bottom and while the Antrim Forum is always a tough place to go, they'll be hoping for at least a point.