Larne Tech produced what was reckoned to be one of their best performances of the season, despite going down by a single goal on Saturday to Rathfriland Rangers at Dennis Harvey Park.
As assistant manager Clifford Baston told the Times: “We had to play half the match with 10 men. No complaints about Lee Thompson’s sending-off, for two yellow cards, but Rathfriland’s goal should never have been given.
“Neil Webb sliced his clearance, Gary Smyth caught it – and for some reason the referee said it was over the line. Rathfriland didn’t even claim for a goal. We just couldn’t believe it.
“Even with 10 men, we were all over them in the second half, we really battered them, we were the better side but just couldn’t take our chances!”
Before the sending off, the Tech should have been in front, with Lee Thompson missing a one-on-one; and then Niall McAllister, straight through with just the keeper to beat, opted to play in Thompson who had strayed into an offside position.
Rathfriland had lost the point they gained in a 3-3 draw when the sides last met on April 4; the Tech protesting that Rangers had played an ineligible player.
While the league seemed to agree, and docked the point off Rathfriland, they failed to give the two extra points, and the usual 3-0 win to the Tech, because the protest arrived a day late due to the Easter Holidays; something that did not go down well at Dennis Harvey Park.
Meanwhile, Barn United would have been down but for the three points they claimed back after Crumlin United had played a suspended player in their 1-0 win at the Mill Road.
Barn’s midweek trip is to Rosario Youth Club. It’s Rosario’s last match and anything other than a win and they will be relegated.
If the Ormeau Road side are victorious, it will leave Barn looking at goal difference and depending on Dromara Village losing their last two, or Orangefield OB losing by at least three goals in their final game.
Clifford Baston, though, insists the Tech “are very much up for it”.
Larne Tech OB: Smyth – Hyslop, R Thompson, Devine, Steele – Campbell (McNally), Montgomery, N McAllister, Webb (McGinley) – Ward, L Thompson.