The Carryduff Colts missed out on the opportunity to move back into promotion contention in NI Amateur League Division 2C despite taking an early lead against third placed Newhill, who have games in hand over the teams ahead of them.
It was a bright start and Carryduff’s early pressing game paid dividends when Ciaran Sherry dispossessed the centre back and found Rory Timoney in the box after four minutes.
The youngster showed great coolness in bringing the ball under control before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper for his third goal in two games.
It was a case of what might have been if the home side had been able to hold on to their lead for an extended period but Newhill fashioned an equaliser within two minutes with a slick move that gave goalkeeper Sean McCaffrey no chance.
Carryduff continued to hold their own in a tight battle and should have retaken then lead on the half hour mark when pressing by Timoney resulted in a defensive mistake and Sherry found himself one on one with the goalkeeper but took too many touches and the chance was gone.
Newhill were dangerous from corners and free kicks but Rory McDonnell in the Colts defence was outstanding, winning everything in the air and reading the game superbly when the visitors tried to play their way through the defence, ably assisted by Mattie O’Rourke, Joe Sweeney and young Carter King who had kept his place following a good display last week.
The Colts began the second half on the front foot with the midfield trio of Paul Haley, Fergus McBride and Michael Deeny beginning to exert some authority but despite dominating possession were unable to create too many clear cut chances.
The Colts replaced the gifted Euan McNicholl, who had an unusually quiet afternoon, with Jack Rafferty in an attempt to win the game but it was Newhill who took the lead with 20 minutes to go.
The home team seemed to lose shape and run out of steam and despite introducing James White for Deeny and Paul Murphy for Haley were unable to get back into the game and the visitors made sure of the victory with a third just before the end.
Colts: McCaffrey, Sweeney, King, O’Rourke, McDonnell, McBride, Timoney, Deeny (White), Sherry, Haley (Murphy), McNIcholl (Rafferty).