A spirited late comeback from Ballyclare Comrades consigned Loughgall to a shock second defeat in a row.
The Villagers were well in control until referee Stephen Weatherall harshly dismissed Chris Kingsberry and awarded a penalty with 11 minutes remaining which was duly dispatched, giving Comrades momentum to score a second and net the win.
The visitors grabbed the lead after 17 minutes when Craig Reid pushed Shea McGerrigan inside the penalty area, and Dean Smith stepped up to calmly convert from the spot.
Five minutes later, from Glenn Waddell’s ball into the box, new signing Barry Bloomer rose highest to direct his header towards the corner of the net only to be thwarted by ‘keeper Paddy Flood’s excellent save.
On 38 minutes Flood again denied Loughgall from extending their advantage with a great reaction save from Chris Kingsberry’s low drive.
Comrades issued an early warning sign 3 minutes into the second period when Andy Simms’ left-footed effort from inside the penalty area was creeping in at the corner only for a diving save from ‘keeper Marc Robinson.
Ten minutes later Andy Smith lifted a perfectly weighted ball over the Ballyclare defence for striker Dean Smith to volley first-time narrowly over the crossbar.
The controversy came following a corner in the 74th minute when Scott Irvine crashed his header against the crossbar, and in the ensuing scramble, referee Weatherall harshly adjudged Kingsberry to have handled awarding a penalty despite the ball clearly being over the line.
Darren Munster saw his resultant penalty saved by Robinson before slotting home the rebound.
Deep into injury time, as Loughgall chased the win, Comrades broke and netted through striker Ronnie Burns as he raced buy abilify cheap onto David Officer’s pass before sliding the ball past ‘keeper Robinson and into the bottom corner.
Loughgall: Robinson, Waddell, Cullen, Alderdice, Peden, Kingsberry, McGerrigan (Ryan 87m), Hawthorne, Bloomer, D Smith (McCullough 80m), A Smith. Unused subs: McDowell, McNeill, Gregg.
Ballyclare: Flood, Reid (Officer 87m), Munster, McCullough (Holland 71m), Forsythe, Armstrong, Irvine (McDonnell 61m), McGowan, McClelland, Burns, Simms. Unused subs: Hill, Bainbridge.
Referee: Stephen Weatherall (Belfast)