Two missed penalties and squandering what manager Stephen Donald counted as ‘seven clear-cut chances” could come back to haunt Wellington Rec as they unexpectedly stumbled at home to Colin Valley.
The visitors were two up before the first penalty miss; Scott Todd’s effort well saved by the ‘keeper.
Andy Phillips eventually got Wellington up and running after the break and more fuel should have been added to the Rec revival when a Valley player was dismissed for conceding penalty number two, ballooned high over the bar by Stuart Hilditch.
“We’ll never have a better chance,” lamented manager, Donald, “at home and 20 minutes against 10 men. It was like the Alamo!”
Donald’s former club Islandmagee fought back from 2-0 down to record a 3-2 win over Albert Foundry. Tiago Leite got the recovery under way before Robbie McFall equalised. Three minutes from time Michael Dunn netted the winner for a much-needed three points.
At Haslett Park, there was a Barn bombardment as they at least secured a point in a 3-3 draw against an Abbey Villa side, on the back of five successive league defeats.
Matt McDonald and Arron Anderson (direct from a corner) set Barn on their way. The warning signs were there with a save of the season contender from Dean Haggan, before a deflected free-kick gave Villa a foothold before the break.
But within 10 second-half minutes Barn were 2-3 down. McDonald found a way through on 80 minutes but Villa managed to hold out.
Barn official Brian White said: “I can’t fault the players for effort, they’re working their socks off. But we can’t hold onto a lead and can’t buy a win at the moment.”
Nortel’s run of victories came to an end away at Immaculata. Jordan Clarke had a penalty saved on 24 minutes before younger sibling Timmy put them in front three minutes later.
However, that’s as good as it got. “Immaculata were good value for their win, although I thought 4-1 was a bit harsh,” said manager, Lee McCartney. Their fourth - five minutes from time - looked well offside but fair play to them, they never gave up!”
Elsewhere, Larne Tech lost 2-1 at Dromara Village despite Neil Webb giving them a second-minute lead. It was the same scoreline for Rathfern at Grove United with Carl Murray their marksman.