Down seconds grabbed a vital home win against Mossley thirds last weekend to take their points to tally 13 after what has been a bad start to the Junior 3 season.

The locals were in superb form, but it was the visitors who created a number of early chances all of which were saved.

Mossley had four opportunities to take the lead and were made to pay as the home side ran riot once it got its nose in front. In fact, Down were so dominant in the second period that Mossley couldn't manage a single shot on goal.

Dodds produced the first strike for the visitors before David McEvoy and Iain Webber were also denied as the side placed second in the league before the start of play tried to stamp its authority on the game.

Having weathered the storm, Down got more into the game and Philip Brown, who finished with a hat-trick, and Gary Brown, both produced rasping shots which were saved by Damian McIlreavy in the Mossley goal who, incidentally, ensured his side were not defeated by an even bigger margin.

With the young Mossley players struggling on the shale, Down upped the tempo and Chris Ferguson broke up an attack and drove forward, slipping the ball to Philip Brown who scored his first of the afternoon.

Brown then produced another stinging shot which McIlreavey saved, but Mark Elliott was in the right place at the right time to slam the rebound home to give his side a 2-0 lead.

Brown then scored his second of the afternoon after some great build up play through the middle to give Down a 3-0 lead before the striker was sin-binned for a foul on a Mossley defender.

The home skipper's team talk at half-time was an easy one; keep it simple, keep passing the ball and make the most of the space being created behind the visitors' defence. Down were prepared for an onslaught and while Mossley mounted the first attack of the game, the home side created chances at will.

Ferris was causing havoc on the right, while Gary Brown did an excellent job in the middle of the park. Stephen Ferguson made it 4-0 with a shot which gave the 'keeper no chance and at this stage it was always going to be a case of how many the home side would score.

Mossley forced a few short corners at the other end, but they failed to get a shot in on goal and were made to pay as Down scored three more goals.

Brown completed his hat-trick to make it 5-0 when he controlled a ball into the penalty area, side-stepped the 'keeper and scored and he was unlucky not to score minutes earlier when a first time shot whistled past the wrong side of the post.

Ferris was rewarded for a tenacious performance when he scored to make it 6-0 and Ferguson then grabbed his second of the game to complete the rout. But Down should have made it 8-0 in the dying seconds of the game.

With the 'keeper out of position and the ball making its way to Elliott and Stephen Ferguson, Marco couldn't get his feet out of the way with Fergie lining up behind him to score and the chance was gone.

As Down know, they have to make Malone Park a fortress this season; picking up points away from home will be difficult, but not impossible. Winning home games is crucial and the players must keep that in mind over the coming weeks and months.