Ardee Celtic suffered their first defeat of the O’Neill’s MDL Division One season as they feel to a controversial 3-2 loss against Slane Wanderers at Townspark in a game that saw three players sent off and three penalties awarded.
The first half ended with the score level at 0-0 and with no sign of the controversy that was to follow.
The home side went in front after 55 minutes when Neil McLaughlin threaded a pass through to Kenny McKenna and he converted with ease.
Ardee were then given the opportunity to add to their score when Tommy Taaffe was fouled in the area but McKenna saw his spot-kick brilliantly saved by the Slane goalkeeper.
Shortly afterwards Ardee were awarded another penalty, this time following a handball, and McKenna made no mistake with his second chance to make it 2-0.
Slane got back into the game when a mix up in the Ardee defence allowed Derek Rocks to make it 2-1 but shortly afterwards the visitors then had a player sent off for a straight red card.
The penalties kept coming and when Niall Eccles was adjudged to have fouled a Slane player inside the penalty area he too was sent off.
Both the awarding of the spot kick and the red card decision that followed incensed the home side and the visitors took full advantage as Rocks converted past Conor Ryan to rub salt into an already open wound.
Another visiting player then saw red, leaving Slane to play out the game with nine men but, with the game appearing to be heading for a draw, they grabbed a dramatic winner.
A free-kick left the Ardee back four appealing in vain for offside and Robbie Cassidy’s goal was allowed to stand as the visitors returned home with all three points, sending a frustrated Ardee spiralling to 4th in the table.
Ardee Celtic: Conor Ryan, Robbie Reynolds, Niall Eccles, Robbie Coyle, Aaron Knowles, Gatis Logins, Neil McLaughlin (Aaron Quigley), Liam Shevlin, Conor Osbourne, Kenny McKenna, Tommy Taaffe (Lorcan Myles). Unused sub: Dean McLaughlin.