18th Old Boys’ fitness levels ‘not good enough’

18th Newtownabbey manager Michael Jamison. INLT 42-412-RM
18th Newtownabbey manager Michael Jamison. INLT 42-412-RM

Amateur League, Division 1C: Eighteenth Newtownabbey Old Boys’ manager Michael Jamison bemoaned his side’s lack of fitness after frittering away a two-goal lead to come away empty-handed as visitors Groomsport landed three goals in the final 15 minutes at Cloyne Crescent.

Jamison told the Times: “Groomsport were fitter; our fitness just isn’t good enough. We’re getting numbers at training, but it’s mostly the youth teams. But there’s not a lot you can do about it as some of our first-teamers work shifts and can only train every other week!”

Eighteenth also had two plausible penalty appeals turned down but as the manager admitted: “You can’t keep blaming referees, though I thought both of them were clear penalties. When you’re down there, things go against you. But as games go on, generally we tend to sit back too much and once they got one back to make it 2-1, you could see it coming, they got a new lease of life. Groomsport had something like four chances and got three goals. We had seven or eight and got only two!”

Eighteenth return to home turf on Saturday against Holywood FC, though Cloyne Crescent isn’t the fortress it once was, with just two league wins out of the nine already played at Monkstown this season.

Indeed, after the Holywood game, 18th have only four more home games, therefore giving them a tough enough schedule in the New Year, especially considering that four of the five teams below them in the table can overtake them if they win their games in hand.

Eighteenth’s marksmen against Groomsport were Campbell Neill and Aaron Knell.