Nortel spurned the chance to go top of the Premier Division after Saturday’s 5-3 home defeat to Kilmore Rec.
The club’s assistant-manager, John McMinn, said: “We had key players missing, but it was disappointing; it was a game we still should have got something out of.”
Nortel were caught out on 10 minutes, after attempting to play their way out of trouble at the back. But they soon cancelled this one out, with Craig Caughey clinically slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
William Bingham, with the goal gaping in front of him, blazed the ball over the bar, after Jordan Clarke’s initial effort had been parried by the keeper.
Kilmore duly knocked the ball straight down the field where they didn’t waste the opportunity, following up after Matthew Whittley had made the save.
Nortel had the wind at their backs in the second half – only for Kilmore to breeze further ahead, with two players forgetfully left unattended as the ball was played across the six-yard box.
The home side were right back in the hunt when Davy Freyne flashed home a penalty, after Jordan Clarke had been sent crashing to the ground inside the box.
And it looked as though Nortel had got their ‘second wind’, when this time they did make the most of the rebound; with Dale Fenner doing the honours after Jordan Clarke’s shot had been pawed out by the keeper.
Alas the wind was almost immediately taken out of Nortel’s sails, when Philip Traynor galloped onto a long punt by the keeper, right into the teeth of the howling gale.
A route-one goal and the Crossgar side ensured Nortel wouldn’t be Premier Division Christmas Number One, with a fifth goal just before the close.
It’s back to the Factory Grounds for Nortel’s next fixture on December 28, where 1b side Ballynahinch United are the visitors in the Clarence Cup.
Nortel: Whittley – D Anderson, Thompson, Cardwell, Freyne – Bingham (Conlin), Lorrimer, Caughey, T Clarke (Irwin) – Fenner, J Clarke. Sub (Lenaghan).
Player in: Lee Graham, S, Mossley FC.