A second successive win on the road lifted Nortel up to eighth in the Premier Division after Saturday’s two-goal success over bottom club Kilmore Rec.
As Nortel manager Lee McCartney explained: “We had a target of six points from our away matches at Derriaghy and Kilmore and we got them. It’s all starting to look more respectable.”
Phil McCann, who started the season playing under Kilmore manager Graham McConnell at Newington Rangers, set Nortel on their way, with the points copperfastened by Stuart Crawford’s belter of a free-kick in the second half.
Islandmagee’s 3-0 defeat to Immaculata means they have now lost four Premier Division games on the spin. Stephen King’s men have conceded 20 in that time, scoring once.
There was a spectacular strike from Colin McBride as Rathfern Rangers came from behind to win 3-2 at Portaferry Rovers. Carl Murray got the other two goals.
Niall McAllister thought he also had a double in Larne Tech’s 2-1 defeat at Killyleagh but both were scrubbed out for offside. The Tech did score two, only Neil Webb’s slashed clearance was at the wrong end, though he did later cross for Lee Thompson, whose header was blocked on the line. Dylan Monaghan found the net when he bundled in a loose ball over the line for the Tech equaliser.
Killyleagh grabbed the winner with an unchallenged header 15 minutes from time.
The result was bad news for Barn United who are back in the drop zone after a 4-4 home draw with Comber Rec.
Barn were 3-1 up in the second half, but in the end they needed a Matt McDonald header five minutes from time to rescue a point. The other goals came courtesy of McDonald and Andy Kane (two).
After two consecutive draws, Wellington got back to winning ways thanks to a second-half goal from Stuart Hilditch against Donard Hospital at Brookvale.
Rec, however, were reduced to 10 with Paul Matthews red-carded, though Donard eventually finished with nine.
Elsewhere, second half goals from Don McAteer, Ryan Greer (penalty) and Mark Miskimmin gave 18th Newtownabbey a 3-0 victory away to Holywood FC.
Elsewhere, there was more misery for Newington Rangers, who now have conceded 71 and scored just one in their last seven league fixtures, after going down 11-0 to leaders Downshire YM at the Knowe.
There was familiar opposition for UUJ and Mossley on Saturday, up against the very same teams they had met the week before.
The familiarity, though, didn’t help UUJ as they crashed to their first defeat under new manager Billy Youle, losing 2-0 to Sirocco Works at Lisburn Distillery.
Yet the manager claimed: “Last week’s draw was harder to take – when we were 4-1 up, had a man sent off and didn’t see the game out. This time I had 10 players missing, six of them (Adam Dick, Ciaran McMullan, Ryan McLoughlin, Rhys Cleland and Philip and Grant Gardiner) would have been starters. It’s hard for any team to cope with that – but this one looked a bore draw all over, until 15 minutes from time, when we made a couple of mistakes for their first goal; Sean Magowan didn’t get any length with his defensive header, and then keeper Matthew Skeet stood and watched the scuffed shot because he thought it was going wide.
“We were still rattled from this, when they scored a second just over a minute later!”
Up until then, UUJ had the better of what little chances there were, notably when Kyle McDowell fizzed one just the wrong side of the upright.
Mossley, meanwhile, completed a quick league double over lowly Dromore Amateurs, although they were initially caught cold when the visitors snatched an early lead.
Chris Proctor cancelled that one out by the break, with Mossley securing the points through second-half goals from Ricky Moore and Lee Graham.
As manager Garry Campbell concluded: “We were caught a bit unawares at the start, but we were comfortable. We had plenty of possession, plenty of chances and their keeper was by a long stretch, the man of the match!”