Happiest local manager of the week surely has to be Nortel’s Lee McCartney who secured his first Premier League points since taking over from Ricky Beggs, ending a sequence of eight successive league defeats with a 4-3 victory over Ardglass.
“It was a very big three points and it was very much deserved,” said McCartney. “All 13 players did everything I could have asked. Chris Monteith and, in particular, Lee Lenaghan coming back in made a big difference, while skipper Wayne Lorrimer was inspirational and Kris Malone was back to his best. Up front, Jackie Moore and Tommy Hammill combined really well – and it’s just the first time they’ve played up there together.
“It was a great team performance and the atmosphere afterwards was brilliant but we’re not going to get carried away. We’ll take each game as it comes and there will be tougher tests ahead.”
Moore rattled a post early on, but instead it was Ardglass who landed the opener on 15 minutes.
Back came Nortel on the half-hour with Lorrimer, leading by example, cutting in from the right before making light of an improbable angle, and drilling the ball into the far corner.
Three minutes from the break, Aaron Bloomfield, head down, went on a run, breezing right down the middle and prising out an opening for Moore to smack the ball past of the keeper.
Hammill widened the margin, tucking away Davy Freyne’s inch-perfect pass on 50 minutes and while Ardglass pegged another back, Nortel weren’t going to throw it all away and they restored their two-goal cushion when Moore doubled his tally, following a lung-busting run from Lorrimer.
Ardglass did claw one back but it was so deep into stoppage time but that wasn’t going to stop the ‘glee for Lee’.