Defeat plunges Wakehurst closer to relegation

Wakehurst FC.

Wakehurst FC.

Wakehurst’s hopes of avoiding relegation from NIFL Championship Two are fading with every passing week.

The Ballymena men remain well adrift of safety after their latest setback, a 4-2 reverse at Dollingstown on Saturday.

“We weren’t at the races for the first 30 minutes but the last hour was more heartening,” interim boss Dougie Stevenson told Times Sport.

“We didn’t get started at all and we couldn’t have any real complaints about being two goals behind after half an hour.

“Then all of a sudden we seemed to kick into life and really got a grip on the game,” added Stevenson.

Wakehurst’s path back into the game came from the penalty spot after a clever turn by Peter Adams - who started up front in place of the unavailable Conor Gregg - drew a foul from his marker and Kurtis McCartney tucked away the resultant spot kick.

Wakehurst’s tails were up but they suffered a blow 10 minutes after the restart when an uncharacteristic slip by goalkeeper Macauley Cairns presented Dollingstown with the chance to go 3-1 ahead.

Again, Wakehurst rallied and when a low corner was stepped over by Roy Colville, John Alexander was on hand to convert from close range to make it 3-2.

It could have 3-3 with five minutes left when Ryan Young got on the end of a cross but could only volley over from close range.

Instead, as Wakehurst’s efforts to grab an equaliser became ever more frantic, they were caught on the break and Dollingstown clinched victory with a fourth goal.

“We can definitely take some positives from the way we played.

“The main pluses were another great performance at centre-back by George Young and Peter Adams’s work-rate up front was first class,” said Stevenson.

Wakehurst: Cairns, Swan, Colville, G Young, Millar, Bradley, Mellon, Young, McCartney, Laughlin, Adams. Subs: Alexander, Logan, P Stevenson, D Stevenson.