Tobermore were the visitors to Riada Stadium on Saturday and they emerged with the victory after defeating Glebe Rangers 3-1 to narrow the gap between the two sides to three points.
With Marks and Shaw absent, Adam McVicker and new signing Davy Paul started but it was not enough to prevent Glebe’s second home reverse in successive games.
Tobermore dominated the majority of the first half and could have been three up in the first 15 minutes with McIlveen saving smartly from Young then former Glebe man Trevor Parkhill’s effort from Magee’s cross struck a post.
Connor Deans shot wide with the goal at his mercy before Parkhill opened the scoring in the 17th minute as he despatched a well-placed shot past McIlveen into the bottom corner.
The hosts thought they had equalised seven minutes later when Chris Nicholl forced home McDowell’s cross but the linesman harshly adjudged Nicholl had impeded Tobermore ‘keeper McGraw and the ‘goal’ was ruled out.
The visitors went close again when Winton volleyed Parkhill’s cross against the bar and Deans blasted the rebound over, however the second goal was not long delayed. A clearance fell to Rory McReadie and the midfielder’s strike from 20 yards went through a crowd of players before nestling in the back of the net to make it 2-0.
In a rare Glebe attack Peter Spratt’s swerving effort in the 41st minute was stopped by McGraw and half-time arrived with Tobermore 2 goals to the good.
The second half started off in a similar theme to much of the first before two crosses from McDowell threatened the away goal. Unfortunately there was no-one to take advantage of the first and Conor Kearns denied Nicholl from the second.
Tempers flared on the hour after Winton’s high challenge on McIlveen. Both teams were involved in the fracas which followed and when calm was restored to proceedings Winton received his marching orders whilst McIlveen was unable to continue.
Centre-half Spratt was forced to don the gloves for the remaining half hour with Nicholl moving to centre-half and Mawhinney coming on up front. Glebe at last began to threaten and only a great save by McGraw foiled Peter Kennoway before the keeper distinguished himself again, this time from Nicholl’s effort. However the threatened comeback was dealt a fatal blow when another Parkhill cross was met by the unmarked Young who volleyed home from 4 yards out in the 74th minute.
Three behind Glebe seemed to throw off the shackles and McGraw was pressed into service to deny Nicholl once more and then touch Johnny Hume’s fierce drive over.
Alan Sheppard had a ‘goal’ chopped off for offside and McDowell struck a post before Glebe’s pressure finally told when McDowell pulled one back with a fine injury time effort.
It proved to be only a consolation for the home side although McGraw was called into action once more to deny Sheppard and ensure the final score was 3-1 to Tobermore.
Glebe Rangers: McIlveen, Morrison, Dobbin, Sheppard, Spratt, Christie, Paul, Kennoway, Nicholl McVicker, McDowell
Subs: Hume, Wilson, Mawhinney
Tobermore: McGraw, Neill, Magee, Keane, Kearns, McReadie, Parkhill, Glasgow, Young, Deans, Winton
Subs: Curtis, Kilpatrick, Maguire, Averill
On Saturday Glebe Rangers travel to Coagh United with a 2pm kick-off. Coagh are sitting one place above neighbours Ballymoney who remain on the bottom of the table.
Glebe Rangers are holding a fundraising disco on February 14th in the Manor Hotel. Adm £5 . 9pm until late.