Just 24 hours after Stephen Small resigned from his post as Donegal Celtic, the players he left behind recorded their first competitive win of the season.
Ironically, as Small departed due a run of nine league games without a win, this Co Antrim Shield quarter-final victory heaped more pressure on the shoulders of Lisburn Distillery boss Tim McCann.
Only the Whites lie beneath Celtic in the Danske Bank Premiership, and as the vultures fly over Ballyskeagh, managerial names were being listed as possible successors Small last night.
Pat McGibbon, Pat McAllister, Dixie Robinson and Marty Quinn were just some of the managers mentioned in sideline conversations at a cold Celtic Park, where less than 100 supporters turned out to watch this quarter-final tie.
A second-half revolt by the hoops brought goals from Peter McCann and Paul McVeigh, cancelling out Jordan Forsythe’s first-half opener.
It came in the 24th minute when former Celtic defender Johnny Harkness saw his lowly struck free-kick caress the goalscorer en route to the Celtic net.
Conor Downey had Whites ‘keeper Lee Windrum on his toes again in the 26th minute but again the ball whistled over his crossbar.
The visitors started the second-half as strongly as they finished the first but it was their former player, Peter McCann, who restored parity in the 60th minute with an exquisite chip over the advanced Windrum.
McCann’s goal in his first start for Celtic should have been added to in the 68th minute but they were cruelly denied a second goal when a linesman cited veteran striker McVeigh for a foul on ‘keeper Windrum. It was a bizarre decision – McVeigh making no contact with the Whites net-minder, who dropped the ball over his goal-line.
McVeigh’s frustration and anger, however, was replaced by joy three minutes from time when he powered a superb close-range header beyond Windrum from Miskimmin’s free-kick delivery.
Donegal Celtic: Connolly, Keegan, McShane, Burns, Hughes, Deans, L Bradley (Gargan 42), Miskimmin, McVeigh, Downey, McCann (Dolan 73)
Lisburn Distillery: Windrum, Smyth, Harkness, Hunter (McVeigh 81), Ferguson, Davidson, McCann (McCullough), Hughes, Forsythe, Halliday (Liggett 72), Beggs.