Larne Tech are up to fifth in Division 1A after Saturday’s impressive 2-1 victory at leaders Abbey Villa.
With three defeats and two draws on home turf this season already, the Craigyhill outfit can’t really afford any more slip-ups if they’re going to figure in the promotion reckoning.
“We’ve dropped enough points, we need to get some consistency and keep the run going,” Tech boss Johnny Hastings admitted. “That’s five wins and a draw now from our last six league and cup games. We need to keep that up; we had to win in Millisle. That keeps us in the pack and we’re pretty much back in the mix. It’s a tight league and teams are taking points off each other.
“This one wasn’t pretty. I don’t think Abbey Villa relished the physical battle but once we regained the lead, they never troubled us. It was a good performance from us and a deserved win.”
The Tech were missing talisman Lee Thompson but looked the more likely, before taking a deserved lead midway through the first session; Reece McGinley claiming the final touch, after Aaron Mulvenna had got onto the end of Scott McNally corner.
The Larne boys could have been celebrating again just minutes later but Niall McAllister ballooned Dylan Monaghan’s left-wing cross high over the bar.
At the other end, it took a well-timed block from Ryan Thompson to prevent Villa restoring parity. It was the Tech, though, who ended the half on the offensive; McNally cutting in from the right but on his less favoured left boot, skewed his shot well wide of the target.
Villa got back on terms on 70 minutes with a stirring strike into the roof of the net.
The Tech weren’t to be denied and they took all three points when sub Matt Devine stormed down the right before drilling the ball low into the far corner.
Missing Scott and Craig Cowie and Ellis Cahoon, Wellington Rec slipped to a third consecutive defeat, going down 2-1 at Bloomfield.
The contest was reduced to 10-a-side just after the break after Graeme Humphrys and a Bloomfield man were given their marching orders. Bloomfield opened the scoring shortly after the double dismissal and while a Dean Shaw header brought out the best in the home keeper, it was the east Belfast side who tightened their grip after Brendan Quinn miscued following a rash dash off his line. Scott Todd’s well executed strike from just outside the box proved to be a consolation.
It’s four defeats in a row for Newington Rangers who went down 3-1 to Holywood at Magheramorne.