The battle of the bottom of the Brian McCormick Sports PremierLeague saw Donegal Town take a big step in their hopes for survival as they struck with the only goal of the game against Gweedore United.

The tie was moved from the Hospital Field to the Lakeside, Ballyshannon because of frost and both sides struggled on the artificial surface. However, young Liam Martin (celebrating his 17th birthday) had no such troubles as he was the real difference between the sides, almost constantly tormenting the Gweedore defence.

However, when Donegal Town lost Stephen Curneen to a red card on 62 minutes, the likelihood of taking all three points seemed a distant dream for them.

But on the 80th minute they got the breakthrough thanks to the industry of Martin, who chased a through ball and won a corner. Substitute John Boyle's corner was met by centre-half JP Byrne, but the effort was blocked but Darren Kelly was on hand to bundle to the net from close range for what was the decider.

Donegal Town were the most industrious for much of the game but throughout the first half they rarely troubled Joe Duffy in the Gweedore goal, having a succession of snap shots from Liam Martin and Clint Walsh that were tame or drifted wide.

Indeed the best chance of the first half fell to Gweedore when centre forward Brian Gallagher found himself in space on 15 minutes and his blistering effort was parried out for a corner by Dermot McCafferty. Just before the break the Donegal defence almost went to sleep and allowed Joe Gallagher in along the endline as they stopped looking for a free for a foul on Darren Kelly.

The second half was almost a replica of the first with clear-cut chances very few but it seemed to take a huge turn when Curneen was shown red by match referee Paddy Duffy after he clashed with Charlie O'Donnell on the Gweedore line. Liam Martin had capitalised on a mistake by Daniel Ferry but his goalbound effort was stopped by O'Donnell on the line with Curneen closing in.

Gweedore pushed on when they had the extra man and Dermot McCafferty was at full stretch to stop an effort from Joe Gallagher and was almost caught out by an Owen Doohan cross.

Frank McGee headed over from a corner but in a swift break Liam Martin again caused problems, winning a corner from which came the winning goal from Kelly.

Gweedore laid siege in the final ten minutes as well as the seven extra minutes added and they came very close with five minutes left, Owen Doohan turning well inside the box only to see his effort come back off the bottom of the post.

That was to be their last chance as Donegal Town, thanks to the industry of Martin working alone up front, held on.

Donegal Town: Dermot McCafferty, Barry Kemp, Darren Kelly, Christopher McGettigan, JP Byrne, Danny McGarrigle, Pauric Harvey (John Boyle 69), Clint Walsh (Robert Timoney 72), Liam Martin, Stephen Curneen, Raymie McGroary (Ridha Abdulla 58).

Gweedore United: Joe Duffy, Charlie O'Donnell, Keith Sweeney, Michael Joe McGeever, Daniel Ferry, Owen Doohan, Joe Gallagher, Frank McGee, Brian Gallagher (Hugh Martin Curran 78), Shane O'Donnell, Darren Ferry (Michael Connolly 57).

Referee: Paddy Duffy

Brian McCormick Sports Premier Division

Gweedore Utd. who played Donegal Town FC on Sunday. Photo Thomas Gallagher 2501TG31

Gweedore Utd. who played Donegal Town on Sunday. Photo Thomas Gallagher 2501TG31

Donegal Town FC supporters watching their team playing Gweedore Utd. at Ballyshannon on Sunday. 2501TG46

Keith Sweeney Gweedore Utd. gets blood washed away after a knock to his nose against Donegal Town. 2501TG48

Charlie O'Donnell Gweedore United clears a Donegal Town attack as Daniel McGarrigle closes in with the Gweedore Utd. officials looking on last Sunday. 2501TG33

Brian Gallagher Gweedore United gets away from Darren Kelly Donegal Town as Pauric Harvey looks on during the Div. 1 league on Sunday. 2501TG40

Stephen Curneen Donegal Town FC tries to get past Keith Sweeney Gweedore United on Sunday. 2501TG37

Donegal Town and Gweedore United players contest a high ball during the Div. 1 league on Sunday. 2501TG41

Liam Martin Donegal Town and Daniel Ferry Gweedore United race for a loose ball during the Div. 1 league on Sunday. 2501TG34

Donegal Town FC management watching their team playing Gweedore United on Sunday.