Down dropped two valuable points at home to Parkview last weekend.

Having already defeated the Doagh outfit in a Linden Cup tie a few weeks ago, the Malone Park side should have bagged all three points in this Senior Two tie.

The locals are not yet firing on all cylinders and the loss of a number of players last weekend was also a deciding factor. However, man for man, Down were superior and should have won.

The departure of Philip Murray to derby rivals Ballynahinch is beginning to tell. Down have no one who can hold the ball up to bring other players into the game and Ashley Gibson's unavailability last weekend was also a decisive factor.

Parkview, who relied on Sammy McKenzie and Aaron McDonald in the middle of the park, struggled during the opening minutes and a number of poor umpiring decisions by the visiting officials did not help Down's case.

That said, the Malone Park side created enough chances to win the game, but a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing cost them dear.

Paul Neill, who had a tremendous game, fired over a number of telling crosses in the opening 15 minutes and Cecil Telford, Chris Taylor and Jeremy McCready all went close. At the other end, Norman Carmichael was policed by Gavin Ringland, while Colin James was closely marked by Johnny Lennon.

Down took the lead in the 20th minute through skipper, McCready, after some great build-up play involving Alasdair Duff, Neill and Stephen Ferguson. When the ball was whipped into the danger area, McCready reacted quickest to fire it past the 'keeper.

Parkview then hauled themselves back into the game following three poor umpiring decisions. Parkview were denied a free hit on the halfway line and when the ball was drilled goalwards, Gavin Ringland cleared it.

From the resultant free hit on the sideline, the ball was lifted into the penalty area, striking Trevor Love just below the knee. Incredibly, a penalty corner was awarded and Paul Harvey scored.

The umpiring decisions ruined the game and Down's players let their frustrations get the better off them. Skipper McCready and Ferguson were harshly sin-binned, as was ParkviewÕs McKenzie.

Although down to nine men, Down incredibly took the led through Neill who nipped into the penalty area after a mistake by the Parkview defence to score.

The game was open at this stage and Down's 'keeper twice denied Norman Carmichael. The first shot was a deflected effort destined for the top corner of the net, while the second was destined for the inside of the near post.

After the break, Down should have scored more goals, but they failed to hit the backboard. Parkview rarely threatened, but as the game progressed, full-back Raymond Hughes was given far too much room. He picked James on the right and while surrounded by two Down defenders, who should have cleared the danger, he fired in a shot through a crowd of players which crept in at the near post.

Parkview then should have increased their lead from two penalty corners, but Harvey's blockbusters were saved by Down's 'keeper.

In the closing minutes Taylor had a great chance to make it 3-2 from a penalty corner but he miss-hit the ball and it flew wide. A shot which perfectly summed up Down's afternoon.