ONLY four league points out of 12 for new-look Larne Tech Old Boys who tumbled to this shock 2-1 defeat away to Dundonald Division 1A of the Amateur League on Saturday (September 3).
As manager Jeff Russell reflected afterwards: “Dundonald work hard, but they’re the sort of team we should be beating. They had probably around 3-4 chances maximum, while we had 10-15, but we couldn’t capitalise – and we missed another penalty! A bad day at the office, for a win here would have put us right back into the mix.”
Yet it all started off according to plan, when Bertie Fulton volleyed the Antiville side into an early lead.
While they weren’t quite at concert pitch, the Tech should have been further in command at the break, with Damien McLaughlin having a header blocked on the line, and Paul McCann chopped down just outside the box.
The second half seemed to be following the same script, with Niall McConaghy brought down just inside the box. Ryan Kane had scored from the spot the week before against Crumlin United, but this time his penalty was just too close to the Duns’ net-minder.
It looked to be a defining moment, though, minutes later the Craigyhill men had the chance to make amends, when Marty Steele went down inside the box, only this time the official took no action.
Instead, it was Dundonald who pinched a shock leveller, cutting in from the right before lashing the ball wide of ‘keeper Steven Mills.
The Tech, nonetheless, could have regained their lead had the home ‘keeper not pulled off fine saves to defy McLaughlin and substitute Lee Thompson.
It was Dundonald, however, who delivered the sucker punch, with an 87th-minute winner.
On Saturday (September 12) Larne Tech are in Steel and Sons Cup action, when they will travel to Premier Division side Killyleagh Youth Club.
result: Dundonald 2 v Larne Tech OB 1
Larne Tech OB: Mills – Steele, Haveron, Crawford, Hunter – McConaghy (Loughlins), Barkley, Kane, Fulton – McLaughlin, McCann (Thompson). Sub (unused) McNeill.