It’s hard to know what's the most disappointing about this result.

The fact that Down lost their proud unbeaten record at home or the manner of the performance by what was a makeshift side which, at the very least, should have grabbed a point.

Ravaged by cry-offs, Down were forced to call up five third eleven players for a game they were looking for revenge given their opening day defeat when, ironically, they were forced to travel to Coolnafranky with just 10 men.

Down failed to get one shot in on goal during the entire 70 minutes last weekend which sums up their performance. It was dire, dismal, disjointed and deeply disappointing and the locals' misery was compounded when the returning Raymond McClurg sustained a nasty wrist injury following a crude tackle towards the end of the first half.

With so many players missing, Down were forced to reshuffle their pack, with Cecil Telford asked to lead the attack, with Philip Brown joining Gary Tate and Clifford Lennon in defence.

Cookstown started the brighter side and created a number of half chances, but they failed to get a shot in on goal. Their build-up play was great until they reached the home penalty area and then things went pear-shaped.

However, the visitors did get control of the vital midfield sector where they were allowed too much time and space.

Gary Brown and McClurg did provide the drive for the home side, with wingers Stephen Cullum and Philip Moreland battling for possession. Moreland made a number of good runs early on, but Down lost possession on the edge of the Cookstown penalty area and the visitors' 'keeper was a virtual spectator for the game.

Cookstown's first chance came in the 12th minute, but a shot was blocked in a goalmouth melee and then a forward's deflection on a cross whipped in from the left was turned round the post by Down's 'keeper.

The visitors took the lead in the 30th minute after the home side needlessly gave away possession on their left. The ball found it's way into the penalty area and while a forward's shot struck the home 'keeper on the helmet, there was still enough pace on the ball to take it over the line.

Down felt they were very much in it at the break, but McClurg's injury was so bad that he had to be replaced by veteran, Trevor Lennon, who did what he could to muster a response from the locals.

Down were brighter and switching Cullum to right back provided the side with new impetus. The teenager was responsible for a number of his side's best attacking moves in the second half and he also produced a number of important tackles.

Telford went close with two short corner strikes, but apart from that, the locals failed to test the 'keeper and paid a heavy price in the end, despite their best efforts to get back into the game.

With 10 minutes to go, Cookstown made it 2-0 after the home side had again given the ball away cheaply. This is something they must cut out in the closing weeks of the season.

This Saturday, the locals face Annadale fourths at home and it will be another tough game against the side odds-on favourites to win the Junior 3 title. There must be more concentration and commitment, if not, they will again pay the price.

It's also hoped that a number of the side's regulars will be back in contention to start and that can only add stability and strength when the home side needs it most.