SATURDAY’S Irish Cup derby at the Factory Grounds went according to the form book, with Premier Division Nortel defeating 1C neighbours Mossley FC 3-1.
Both sides have lost a large chunk of last season’s squad, and it’s Mossley who seem more affected, with only one win in nine outings this term. Manager Glen McIntyre, though, was pleased the way his side dug in, during the second half. “We had taken the lead but they had come back with three quick goals and for a while, either side of half time, it looked as though it was going to get really messy for us. For a time we couldn’t live with them, they had more players than us with that bit of knowhow, but they missed chances, and we got over it – and we could have given them a fright had Brett McCrum’s late ‘goal’ not been ruled out for offside. I could see nothing wrong with it!”
Nortel’s second-in-command, John McMinn, himself a former Mossley manager was also surprised it wasn’t given. “I think it’s one we got away with – and it was a tough enough game. Any time we’ve met Mossley, there hasn’t been much in it. We didn’t play well and to be fair, Mossley stuck to their task and made things hard for us. It was a poor enough game, and we’re just happy to get a result!”
Mossley snatched the lead on nine minutes; Steven Murray doing the needful at the second time of asking, after his initial header, from a Gary McCord cross, had been blocked.
However, Mossley must have felt that they had rather unwisely ‘disturbed the hornet’s nest’ as Nortel came roaring back with three goals inside 10 minutes.
Ethan Boylan soon had them level, with his first of the club; before Dale Fenner cut in from the right, cracking the ball low and hard into the far corner to put the Factory side in front for the first time.
An uncontested header from Aaron Holland soon confirmed Nortel’s authority, with Mossley looking a little shell-shocked.
Yet they managed to see out the remainder of the half, and survive Nortel’s early second half bluster; Michael Herron and Darren McKay blazing presentable offerings over the bar, while keeper Dwayne Jenkins made a couple of timely blocks with his legs.
Mossley thought they were right back in it just before the close, only substitute Brett McCrum’s effort, after Murray had flicked on an Adam Richmond cross, was deemed by referee Trevor Moutray to be offside.
Next Saturday, it’s back to the league where Nortel entertain Comber Rec and Mossley travel to Richardson Park Dunmurry to meet Iveagh United.
Nortel; Malone – D Anderson, Holland (S Anderson), Lowry, Freyne – M McKay (Conlin), Lorrimer, Herron, Fenner (Greer) – D McKay, Boylan.
Mossley FC; Jenkins – Jordan, Fellows (McCrum), Scott, McCord – McKinney, O’Connor, Murray, Cosgrove (Sloan) – Orr, Richmond. Sub (unused) Quinn.
Referee; Mr Trevor Moutray, Dundonald.
Mossley FC Players in: Craig Fellows, D; Philip Sloan, M.