Hastings: Dundonald clash is a must-win match for Tech

Lee Thompson netted Larne Tech's first goal on Saturday

Lee Thompson netted Larne Tech's first goal on Saturday

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Amateur League, Division 1A: Larne Tech Old Boys will be out to bag maximum points from Saturday’s trip to the Billy Neill Centre, to meet a Dundonald side who were 4-0 winners at Dennis Harvey Park just a few weeks ago.

The Tech were held to a draw by second-placed Abbey Villa and, speaking after the game, boss Johnny Hastings said: “Abbey Villa will be delighted with a point, whereas we’re disappointed to drop two.

“Going 2-1 up 10 minutes from time, we should have closed the game down and we tried to do that. However, to be fair, Villa’s equaliser just a few minutes from time was well taken.

“The level of our performance, the work rate, the commitment and some of the football we played was really good, we retained the ball very well.

“But we must beat Dundonald on Saturday. It’s still tight, we’re not out of it, but our margin of error is minimal, we have left ourselves very little leeway.

“We’re looking for a wee run from now to Christmas and we’ll see. It’s all about getting yourself into position!”

The Antiville outfit made the ideal start, taking the lead on three minutes, with Lee Thompson dusting himself down to convert the penalty after he was upended by keeper Jon Munn who must have been relieved to see yellow and not red.

The Millisle side cancelled that one out on the half-hour after an unfortunate miskick in the home defence.

The visitors, too, could have gone one better just after the break when the referee rather harshly, from a Tech perspective, pointed to the spot. But keeper Keith Wilson ensured justice was done, with a superb save from the penalty and also the follow-up. Just how critical could that turn out to be in the coming months!

After Dylan Monaghan, Keelan McAuley and Scott McNally had all gone close, the Tech, aided by the howling gale, breezed back in front on 80 minutes when McAuley turned in a Niall McConaghy cross.

It looked to be enough until Villa’s stirring strike just a few minutes from time.