Down travelled to the Senior Two league Cliftonville with 10-men and were denied a share of the spoils by the home 'keeper who produced a wonder save to ensure his side bagged all three points.
The visitors were missing a host of regulars through suspension and unavailability, with Paul Tate, James Erskine, Sinclair White, Alasdair Duff, Jordan Aidey and Paul Neill absent. Of those drafted in at the last minute, Robert Carberry and Steven Fitzsimons were outstanding.
Down's goalkeeping skipper Jeremy McCready also played a key role and while he was peppered over the 70 minutes, he was only beaten once and, by his own admission, conceded a really soft goal.
Nine man Down seconds were just seconds away from pulling off a remarkable victory in this Junior 6 game at Shawsbridge.
No one gave the locals a chance and while two men short you wouldn't have noticed it on the pitch, with young guns Jordan Aidey and Jordan Wade star performers in the middle of the park.
The visitors had the temerity to take the lead in the 15th minute. Jordan Wade raced along the wing and crossed for Aaron Ferris to poke the ball home.
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