Carniny Amateurs suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of 4th Newtownabbey on Saturday.
The match was a tight affair and with a bit of luck Carniny could and should have got something from it.
The first half was a particularly tight affair with both sides having several chances but neither able to put the ball away.
Youngsters Smith in goal and Hart in defence did not look out of place and are certainly good prospects.
The second period saw 4th Newtownabbey take the lead after 15 minutes after Carniny lost the ball needlessly before the ball travelled the length of the pitch without being properly intercepted.
It was 2-0 to the home side 10 minutes later when a hard and low cross into the Carniny penalty area was diverted into their own goal by Carniny’s McCallion.
On the half hour the Ballymena ‘reds’ thought they had scored when Chesney found Surgenor on the right and his side-footed shot was neatly tucked away only to be ruled offside.
With ten minutes remaining the receiver turned provider when Surgenor headed on to Chesney to break through and chip the advancing keeper to make the score 2-1.
Although the visitors pressed to equalise time was not on their side and the home side held out for victory.
Carniny Amateurs: Smith, Hart, Heron, King, Costello, Hanna D., McCallion, Hanna R., Mairs , Gault, Chesney, Surgenor, Martin.
It was an eighth defeat in nine Amateur League 2C games for David Hanna’s side in their first season at this level since dropping down from the Ballymena and Provincial Intermediate League in the summer but the manager remains philosophical.
“This year is going to be a grind, with the transition of our young first team,” said Hanna in a recent interview.
“It will probably take a year for them to get their footing in the league.
“I have a couple of friends in work who play for Larne Tech and Islandmagee, and they told me not to take the Amateur League lightly.”
The Ballymena side will hope for some pre-Christmas cheer when they play their last match of the claendar year this weekend.
However, another tough test lies in store as they host Lower Shankill - currently sitting second in the league - at the Showgrounds (2pm).