Down seconds failed to secure automatic promotion to Junior 3 last weekend.

A win against title rivals Bangor fifths would have taken them out of Junior 4, but the draw means they need one point from their final two games, both of which are away from home.

Down currently have 30 points, but if their nearest rivals Mossley fourths  fail to win their final game this Saturday against Portrush seconds, the Malone Park side go up as of right.

One other possibility is that Down and Mossley could both finish on 30 points and the second promotion place would then be decided via a play-off.

Down, who had only 10 men on the pitch just minutes before this crucial Junior 4 game got underway, started reasonably well and in the dying seconds almost stole the match when James Cunningham, who was outstanding all afternoon, failed to control the ball in the penalty area with just the 'keeper to beat.

That said, both sides were happy with a point as neither wanted to lose this crucial game, rightly billed as a possible title decider.

Down 'keeper, Stephen Moffatt, made an important save early on, rushing to the top of his penalty area to deny an on-rushing Bangor forward, while at the other end, Gary Brown went close with a snapshot which struck the wrong side of the sideboard.

Colin Gibson and Raymond McClurg held things together in the middle of the park for the home side, allowing Cunningham to drive forward at will. He was a handful for the Bangor players all day and was singled out for special attention, with two visiting players challenging him every time he got the ball.

Richard Tarbotton, called up as a last minute replacement, played well on the wing and during the early exchanges, drilled a number of telling crosses into the penalty area.

Down were keen to seize the early advantage, but it was the visitors who scored first following a free on the edge of the penalty area which saw a forward squeeze a shot past Moffatt from the tightest of angles.

But the home side's never-say-die spirit, which is epitomised by Gibson and Raymond McClurg, saw them roar back into contention and the impressive Cunningham swept a cross from Tarbotton into the net for a deserved equaliser, just minutes after Bangor had taken the lead.

The goal gave the home side increasing confidence and with Trevor McClurg and Johnny Lennon keeping things tight at the back, Down had a solid platform to build on.

Clifford Lennon started the move which led to Down's second. His pass to Cunningham made its way to Gary Brown via Tarbotton and he drilled the ball into the net to give the home side the lead for the first time in the game.

Bangor knew they couldn't afford to lose and roared back to make it 2-2 with just five minutes of the first half remaining. Brown then went close at the other end and Bangor's sweeper denied Cunningham as he looked to pounce.

The second half was a dogged affair, but Down held the upper hand for a 15-minute spell when Bangor's passing deserted them and the home side made them pay.

Cunningham then made it 3-2 to the delight of the home supporters and Junior 3 edged even closer. But Bangor fought back to make it 3-3 with 13 minutes to go.

But Down still weren't finished. Gary Brown went close while a cross-cum-shot from Philip Brown flew across the penalty area with no one able to get on the end of it.

Cunningham then had that half chance in the dying seconds, but given the significance of the game, both sides were glad to take a point.