TOWN Juniors Under-15s dented Glentoran’s Lisburn League title challenge with a battling performance at a windy Havelock Park on Saturday morning.
The locals put in a committed display against the big and powerful east Belfast side and their hard work was rewarded with a share of the spoils.
Town made an encouraging start to the game and gave the Glens plenty to think about during an entertaining first half.
Both teams threatened early on, with Luke Diamond off target for the locals, but the breakthrough did arrive midway through the half.
The goal was created down the left although there was still plenty of work to do when Kyle Thompson picked the ball up out wide - however he caught the visitors unawares, wasting no time in unleashing a great long range strike from an acute angle which the keeper reached but was unable to keep out.
Glentoran wasted little time in fighting back and, after Stuart Wilson had made an excellent block to deny them, he was beaten by a back post header from a corner shortly afterwards. However, there was a touch of controversy about the goal as the locals claimed the entire ball hadn’t crossed the line.
A half-time score of 1-1 was a fair reflection of the game, although the locals were to come under more pressure after the break.
Not for the first time this season they had to thank goalkeeper Stuart Wilson for a series of outstanding saves as the Glens, with the wind at their back, pressed for a winner.
But it was not all one-way traffic and Town continued to cause the Glentoran defence problems with Kyle Thompson denied his second of the match by a great fingertip save.
In the closing stages the Glens became more desperate, using the difficult conditions to their advantage with a series of long balls forward.
The direct approach almost paid off with the woodwork coming to Town’s rescue in the dying minutes, while in injury time the visitors had a big shout for handball from a corner waved away.
On this occasion the locals had earned their luck with a point fitting reward for the effort put in by all players, something which they will hope to repeat in the closing weeks of the season.
Team: Stuart Wilson, Nathan Thompson, Jack Canning, Daire McCluskey, Daniel Devlin, Nathan Weir, Joel Copes, Niall Massey, Chris Burns, Kyle Thompson, Luke Diamond, Jack Fullerton.
* The midweek fixtures started for the Under-15s last week with a 0-0 against Camlough Rovers at Havelock Park.