Town Juniors U17s’ unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday morning after a disappointing defeat to fourth placed Hillsborough.
The disappointing defeat may blow their chances of finishing second.
The locals started slowly and were put on the back foot by their opponents from kick-off and at times were unable to get over the half-way line as Hillsborough pegged them back with relentless pressure.
After 20 minutes, Hillsborough finally got their much deserved breakthrough when Town failed to clear their lines from a corner and an unmarked Hillsborough defender precisely placed his free header into the corner.
This seemed to spark Town into life for 10 minutes as they started to get into their stride and were unlucky not to level almost immediately as a Dylan Martin header found forward Declan Loy in space at the edge of the box. He was unfortunate to drag his shot just wide of the far post.
The Juniors then had another chance to level before the break when Josh Cargin fired over the bar.
After the break, Town came out like a different team and turned the game on its head as they forced their opponents deep into their own half.
Stephen McCavitt made a big difference to Town’s attack with his pace and willingness to go at the Hillsborough defence. He almost grabbed an equaliser only for the keeper to save his right-footed drive.
At the other end, Town keeper William Dunlop made a good double save to keep town in with a chance of salvaging a result. Mid-way through the second half, a swift counter-attack for the locals nearly brought about their much-needed goal as Loy was once denied by the keeper and again, as his header from the resultant rebound was well cleared off the line by a back-peddling Hillsborough defender.
For the rest of the half, the Juniors pushed and pushed for that illusive equaliser but couldn’t find the necessary quality in the final third to warrant a leveller.
Town will go into their final two games encouraged by their second half performance but needing two wins to give them a fighting chance of achieving second place.
TOWN: William Dunlop, Niall McCreanor, Brian Johnston, Gareth Orr, Reece Milligan, Dylan Martin, Jordan Hayes, David Gray, Ryan Williamson, Declan Loy, Josh Cargin, Andrew Bennington, Stephen McCavitt, Kalam Farrell, Adam Maginnis, Andrew Martin.