A classic it most certainly wasn't, but Down were delighted to take maximum points from this Senior Two clash at Malone Park.

An early goal from Chris Taylor who produced a brilliant finish at a short corner set Down on the road to victory and while they went on to create a host of other glorious opportunities in the first half, they couldn't increase their margin of victory.

Parkview had the major share of attacking possession in the second period and while they created a number of chances, they couldn't force the ball over the line.

Down opened the scoring in the first minute after Mark Graham's penetrating run was stopped illegally, with the umpire awarding a short corner. The push out found Gavin Ringland who slipped the ball to Taylor whose ferocious shot flew into the net, giving the 'keeper no chance.

A minute later, Parkview created a half chance when John Young's cross into the penalty area almost picked out a team mate but he couldn't get a touch to force Jeremy McCready into a save.

Down's William Fryer teed up Graham in the seventh minute with a sublime pass, but his control let him down when he had just the 'keeper to beat. Jordan Wade won a short corner for Down minutes later but Ringland was surrounded by a posse of Parkview defenders and couldn't get his shot away.

After eight minutes Ringland looked skywards after inexplicably completely missing the target with an open goal at his mercy after some good play by the hard-working Mark Elliott.

James Ferguson, who was switched to left back again was steady and in the 11th minute kept his composure in his own penalty area when the swooped to clear a dangerous looking cross from Parkview's Alan Higginson.

The visitors should have made it 1-1 in the 10th minute, but a forward blasted wide and a minute later Down's Philip Brown reacted quickest in his own penalty area to deny a visiting forward a shot on goal from a short corner.

Ringland was causing major problems in the middle of the park and his defence-splitting pass in the 12th minute brilliantly picked out Elliott whose shot was saved. At the other end, McCready palmed away a shot on the reverse from Higginson which looked to be heading for the top corner of the net.

That man Ringland then picked out Graham in the 19th minute, but the Down winger hurried his shot and it flashed well wide before Young then rattled the sideboard at the other end.

Parkview started to get a grip of the game at this stage and pressed forward, but Down's Philip Cheevers was outstanding at the heart of the defence. His clearances and hit outs were top notch all afternoon and he played a key role in protecting McCready behind him.

With 10 minutes of the half remaining, Ringland fired wide, with his shot just missing the upright. Taylor forced a short corner and Ringland's shot was blocked. Philip Brown then robbed Higginson as he was about to shoot before the irrepressible Ringland produced a majestic shot on the reverse which really deserved a goal, but flew inches wide of the upright. With the last action of the half, Cheevers pounced to nip the ball off Higginson's stick.

While Elliott went close for Down within a minute of the restart, Parkview posed the most serious attacking threat in the second half. McCready was forced to make a number of saves, most notably when the visitors forced three short corners in quick succession.

Elliott saw a shot deflected wide in the 43rd minute and then Cheevers stooped to produce a great tackle to prevent Young getting a clear shot on goal.

Fryer had a golden opportunity to put Down 2-0 ahead in the 50th minute after he was picked out by Taylor's raking pass, but the young forward's control deserted him when he had just the 'keeper to beat.

Another Parkview short corner effort was cleared four minutes later and with two minutes to go Cheevers produced the tackle of the match to deny Young a clear run on goal. Down were awarded a short corner on the stroke of full time but made a mess of the set piece and a late opportunity to make it 2-0 was lost.