Dromore Amateurs started their league campaign with a hard-fought point at Shorts, twice fighting back from behind to earn a 2-2 draw on Saturday.
Shorts started the game with most of the ball and they where putting pressure on the Dromore back line of A.Compton, K.McGuigan, S.Henderson and Thomas Martin.
The long ball to the tall striker seemed to be a ploy that Shorts were going to use but after a few dodgy moments, Dromore solved this problem.
Thomas Martin was more than equal to the tall striker in the air and dealt with any long ball that came his way.
After 15 minutes, Dromore started to get a foot hold into the game and they were causing Shorts a few problems of their own.
On 25 minutes, the break-through was made by the hosts when a flick on into the box caught the Dromore defence flat-footed and the Shorts midfielder got on the end of it and fired past R.Ward to open the scoring and make it 1-0.
Last season this would have been the time that panic would have set into the Dromore team but this time it seemed to have the opposite effect.
Immediately, Dromore went in search of the equaliser.
The midfield of Glenn Rowan, J.Beattie and D.Blenann were starting to get on top and some neat passing was helping the supply to Kenny Gracey, M.Rowan and S.Haslem up top.
On 40 minutes, Dromore got back on level terms when a superb J.Beattie free-kick from 25 yards nestled into the Shorts net.
The lead didn’t last more than 60 seconds, however, as a cheap free-kick was given away from the kick-off and the ball into the box somehow found the back of the net.
At half time, the Dromore players were told that they were still in the game and that they were more then capable of getting the three points.
The second half started with Shorts firing on all cylinders but as in the first half, Dromore held in there and gradually they started to get into the game.
The match was turning into a battle with both sets of players comitted in the tackles.
Dromore got their second equaliser midway through the second half when a Glenn Rowan free-kick into the box was calmly headed into the net by Thomas Martin. Changes were made by Dromore with C.Mallon and D.Lewis coming on for A.Compton and K.McGuigan, who both had played 90 minutes that morning for the club’s Under 19s.
The remaining minutes saw a few twists, when firstly Dromore thought they had taken the lead as a ball into the box saw Stephen Haslem control on his chest then fire into the net, only for the referee to blow for offside.
Then a cross into the Dromore box saw the Shorts players shot cleared off the line by Simon Henderson.
The game ended 2-2 and a delighted boss Dean Brownlee was very pleased with his side’s opening day efforts, hoping it will provide the basis for a successful season.
He said: “This was a great performance from the players. Four of them play at Under 19 level, but they didn’t look out of place in the first-team.
“The players have set themselves a high standard for this season after Saturday’s effort.”
Next up for Brownlee’s men is a trip to Downshire YM this evening (Tuesday - kick-off 6.30pm).