A Chris Bell brace helped Grange Rangers secure their fourth straight win, and move third in the Amateur League Division 2C table.
Further strikes by Phil Gregg and Tiago Leite at windswept and rain-lashed Foundry Lane ensured that the Ballyclare lads coasted to a merited 4-2 win.
The match was effectively won and lost during the opening fifteen minutes when Rangers raced in to a 3-0 lead.
In the first minute Matti King’s corner was met by Bell whose firm header gave the keeper no chance, and then Gregg doubled the lead after Bell’s initial effort had been blocked on the line.
In the 15th minute Tiago scored the most spectacular goal of the day with a postage stamp finish from well outside the box.
During the second half with the weather deteriorating and the pitch cutting up a possible abandonment was a likelihood, but the players stuck it out, and Newtownabbey reduced the deficit with a header from a corner.
After Gregg, Bell, King and McGookin spurned the opportunity to increase the lead, Bell doubled his tally four minutes from time, but ‘Abbey had the final say with a second strike in injury time.
At the beginning of the season manager Stephen King stated that following relegation an immediate return to 2B was top of the agenda. “It’s early days, but we are on course,” he stated.
Grange Rangers: Deegan; McFall, Gault, Johnstone; Gregg, White, McCoy, Cooper (C), Bell; King, Tiago. Subs: McGookin, Donnelly, Thompson.