Belfast Telegraph

Dundela widen gap at league summit after sealing win over Donegal Celtic

Dundela 3 Donegal Celtic 2

By Keith Bailie

Dundela have extended their lead at the top of the Belfast Telegraph Championship One after an enthralling 3-2 win over Donegal Celtic.

A 90th minute header from substitute Stuart McCullough completed a remarkable comeback and gave the Duns another vital victory. Donegal Celtic were 2-0 up with 20 minutes left to play, but three headed goals from Carl McComb, Kyle Owens and Stuart McCullough saved Dundela's unbeaten record.

Despite their four-point lead and their unbeaten streak, manager Mark Snodden is refusing to get carried away.

Snodden said: “I'm delighted with the way we are playing — how could I not be, we're top of the league and in a cup semi-final — but it's only November.

“I'm not really thinking about the league table at the moment. It's a cliche, but we are just taking each game as it comes and concentrating on winning the game in front of us.

“In this division, if you lose a couple of matches, you can drop down the table very quickly. I'm not reading too much into the table at this stage of the season.”

The Duns found themselves a goal behind, almost straight from kick-off. Kevin Hughes gave DC the lead in the opening minute, after a slip by Ross Davison allowed Hughes to fire the ball past Steven McKay from inside the six-yard box.

DC were reduced to 10 men in the 12th minute when Gary Irwin was brought down by Harry Dyer. The defender received a red card which forced McAreavey's side to play with a man short for the majority of the game.

The red card didn't stop Celtic from doubling their advantage in the 57th minute. A quickly-taken free kick caught Dundela out, and talented striker Joe Todd was on hand to guide the ball into the back of the net.

At this stage it looked as if the east Belfast side were on the verge of surrendering their unbeaten league record, but Dundela team refused to lie down.

With just 20 minutes left on the clock, Carl McComb arrived at the back post to head home Dundela's first goal of the day. The man on loan from Premiership side Glentoran has had a major impact on the Championship since signing just before the transfer window closed.

The equaliser arrived in the 84th minute when former Carrick Rangers defender Kyle Owens headed the ball into the back of the net, with a goal his international brother Jordan would have been proud of.

Young defender Stuart McCullough completed the comeback with another headed goal in injury time. The 20-year-old scored a dramatic last-gasp winner to give the Duns the points and leave DC devastated.

With Institute drawing 2-2 with Bangor at Drumahoe, the Duns were able to extend their lead at the top to four points. Next week, the league leaders travel to Inver Park to face managerless Larne.

The cruel 3-2 defeat sees Donegal Celtic slide down to tenth place.

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