It was honours even as Saturday’s 1c derby between Mossley FC and Newington Rangers ended in a 3-3 draw at the Park.
Newington, having surrendered a two-goal lead, ended up playing a Mossley team with 10 men and no recognised goalkeeper after the dismissal of Dwayne Jenkins. But manager Davy Rollo conceded: “We were happy enough to escape with a point. We dominated the first-half and went off 2-0 up. We totally switched off in the second-half. I’m just happy we came away with something.”
Mossley’s assistant-manager, Gordon Crawford, added: “It was a great team performance in the second-half when we started getting the ball down and playing more football.”
Rollo’s Rangers forged ahead after 10 minutes when Paul Thompson, supplied by James Tennant, brush past a defender before lashing the ball Jenkins into the top corner.
Newington extended their lead on 37 minutes thanks to another stirring strike from Paul Thompson, arrowing a 22-yard free-kick into the top corner.
Four minutes later, it could have been three when John Brown smashed a Jim Thompson pass against the post.
The second half, however, was a different story, with Mossley signalling their intent with a McCune shot, superbly saved by Brian McClure. Yet it could have been beyond the Newtownabbey side as Thompson, on a hat-trick, had another free-kick tipped onto the bar.
Mossley pegged one back on 67 minutes when Andrews steered the ball past McClure.
They were celebrating again a short time later with Jordi Fettis scrambling the ball in from close range.
The scales appeared to tilt Newington’s way again when Jenkins was red-carded for felling Tennant outside the box.
Yet Mossley were building up a head of steam Rangers seemed unable to extinguish, and they duly inched ahead for the first time on 82 minutes with substitute Nicky Agnew tucking away McCune’s cross.
Two minutes later, however, Newington salvaged a point with Paul Thompson completing his hat-trick.
On Saturday, Mossley travel to second-bottom Groomsport, while Newington Rangers return to the Knowe for the visit of Bryansburn Rangers.
Mossley FC: Jenkins – Kernaghan (Agnew), McAllister, Barton, McCune – J McKinney, McMullan, Proctor, Crowe – Fettis – Andrews. Sub (unused) B. McCrum.
Newington Rangers: McClure – Hall, Grant, McGarel, Spence – Brown (Hughes), Lusty (McWhirter), J Thompson, Hodge – Tennant (McDowell), P Thompson.