Dromore Amateurs earned a hard fought 1-1 draw with Mossley at Ferris Park on Saturday, forced to do it the hard way after Hodgen was given his marching orders.
The result, against a side flying high, fourth in the Division 1C table, ensures Dromore remain three places off the foot of the table. It was earned after an early Beattie penalty was cancelled out by the visitors.
“It was a good performance for our first match back,” said Amateurs boss Dean Brownlee. “I was pleased with the result but again discipline has let us down and it could have cost us the match.”
Saturday’s game started with with both teams trying to run off that Christmas turkey and it was Dromore who settled down the best. With 10 minutes on the clock, they took the lead from the spot when Gilliland was brought down in the box and J Beattie slotted home the penalty.
Dromores back line off Martin, G Rowan, Hodgen and S Henderson with Thompson in behind were playing well as a unit and not giving Mossley a sniff.
On 25 minutes, Gilliland should have doubled the lead but when faced with only the goalkeeper to beat, he shot straight at the keeper.
Mossley then nearly punished that miss with their only chance in the half but the striker blasted over from 12 yards with only Thompson to beat.
There were little chances in the remaining minutes of the first half, meaning Dromore went in deservedly ahead.
The seconnd half started with Mossley pressing hard for the equaliser and five minutes into the half, they did just that when from a corner the ball was headed in by the unmarked player on the line.
The Dromore midfield of N Curran, W McMurray and Beattie where finding it harder to contain the Mossley midfield in the second period after such a great first half.
The game was opening up now and both sides were looking for their second goal and a potential winner but poor finishing and good goalkeeping kept the score at 1-1.
Dromore made changes with 20 minutes remaining, bringing on Mallon and Lavery into the front three alongside M Rowan and moving Tinsley and Gilliland into midfield.
On 75 minutes, Dromore were reduced to 10 men with Hodgen getting his second yellow card and being sent for an early bath. Compton then came on for Gilliland as Amateurs looked to make sure they didn’t lose the game.
The final 10 minutes seemed like a lifetime for the home support and those in the Amateurs dugout but the boys on the pitch did their job and they managed to hold on for the point.
This Saturday, Dromore Amateurs travel to play second placed Shorts (kick-off 2pm).
DROMORE AMATEURS: Thompson, Martin, G Rowan, Hodgen, S Henderson, W McMurray, N Curran, J Beattie, M Rowan, Gilliland, Tinsley, Mallon, Compton, Lavery.