Tobermore 2-1 Newington
Newington were the visitors at Fortwilliam Park last Saturday as Tobermore United sought to continue their good form.
Despite being second best for a good portion of the game, came out on top to bag another valuable three points that saw them go joint top of the table with neighbours Limavady.
This was Newington’s second visit of the season, comfortably beating their hosts 2-0 in the league cup back in August, and the way they started here a similar scoreline couldn’t be ruled out.
However, despite early dominance, it was Tobermore who almost broke the deadlock on 15 minutes when Lamont brought the best out of Smyth who made a magnificent double save from the home striker.
Newington were always dangerous on counter-attack with the tricky Burns, White and Scully giving the home defence plenty to do.
Tobermore lost Lamont through an injury midway through the first half and was replaced by Batista, who himself was coming back from a long lay-off, and his introduction seemed to give the home side renewed energy.
With 5 minutes of the first half remaining the game burst into life with chances being missed at both ends but it was Curtis who finally made one pay with a superb finish from Parkhill’s cross to put Tobermore ahead.
Then right on the half time whistle McGraw somehow prevented Scully from grabbing an equalizer in a goal line scramble.
The second half was pretty much as the first with Newington having most of the possession without really troubling home keeper McGraw but that changed in the last ten minutes when two substitutes made their mark.
First was Newington’s Kyle Reid who on 81 minutes powered a back post header past McGraw to level the game.
This gave the visitors even more belief that they could go and get another goal to win it but in doing so they were left a little light at the back which Tobermore’s own super sub Hugo Batista expertly exposed.
With barely a minute left on the clock the speedy forward ran onto a through ball, cut inside his marker and placed his shot just wide of the diving Smyth to win the game and wrap up the points.
Newington will believe, and many would agree, that they deserved at least a share of the spoils but Tobermore United boss Adrian Whiteside will certainly be delighted with the result, especially taking into account the number of key players that were unavailable for selection.