History tells us that back-to-back matches are notoriously precarious, never mind adding the unpredictable element of it being a local derby.
Yet, Nortel followed up on their narrow 2-1 success at the Factory Grounds a week earlier with an even more impressive 4-2 victory over Islandmagee at Wilbourne Park.
But Nortel boss Lee McCartney wasn’t surprised. “Last week’s win was the important one. We wanted to get that one off our backs and not hanging over us, having to travel to their place,” he said.
“I thought we were deserved winners last week and I was highly confident we would beat them at their place. We’ve still some way to go yet, but we’re targeting a top-10 finish. There’s a good buzz about the club again.”
The Newtownabbey side got off to the ideal start, forging ahead after just two minutes thanks to a long-distance free-kick from Lee Lenaghan.
Two exceptional saves from Kris Malone protected that slender advantage, before Nortel gave themselves some valuable breathing space through Jordan Clarke midway through the half.
Lenaghan added a third just after the break, and while Michael Moore clawed one back for the hosts, the points were heading back to Monkstown Avenue after Wayne Lorrimer flighted the ball over the keeper for Nortel’s fourth.
Islandmagee pulled another back through veteran striker Andy Waide, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Nortel’s first away victory in the league this season.
Island summed up their display on their Facebook page: “Another poor enough performance in Saturday’s local derby against a well-organised Nortel team.”
Stephen Donald’s men are away to Albert Foundry on Saturday, while Nortel are aiming to make it three on the spin at Immaculata on Tuesday.