THERE was late drama at Darragh Park on Tuesday night when a last-gasp Paul Smith penalty secured a crucial comeback victory for relegation-threatened Dergview against Queens.
In the dying moments of a thrilling contest Emmett McNabb was floored by a defender as he cut in from the right hand side and Smith stepped up to hammer the spot kick past visiting keeper Conan Doherty in securing a precious three points for the North Tyrone men.
The victory, Dergview’s seventh of a disappointing campaign, takes them three points clear of second bottom PSNI and four ahead of basement boys Knockbreda, who have breathed new life into their fight for survival by winning their last two games.
A deflected free kick by midfielder Adam Buchanan sparked Tuesday evening’s revival and, much to the delight of manager Ivan Sproule, Smith stepped up to score the winner.
Brendan Glackin drew first blood for Queens after the Darragh Park pitch had passed a mid afternoon inspection but on the stroke of half-time the hosts were back in business when defender Dale Maxwell headed home a Smith corner kick at the back post.
Like the first half, the Derg men were slow out of the blocks after the interval and Jonah Mitchell fired Queens back in front leaving the homesters with it all to do.
Dergview upped the ante and when the hosts were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box Buchanan smashed it past Doherty with the help of a slight deflection.
That handed the late momentum to the North Tyrone strugglers who completed a stunning comeback when Smith held his nerve in converting that last-gasp penalty.
Smith’s successful spot-kick brought joy and relief for the home faithful in equal measure as the Castlederg outfit now looks ahead to hosting the same opposition on Saturday again.
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