Clarence Cup: A first clean sheet of the season and a morale-boosting win for Larne Tech Old Boys who progress through to the next round after this one-goal victory over 1B side, Holywood FC.
Manager Stephen Adair said: “It was a lot more comfortable than the scoreline suggests. We should have been five up at half-time. Sometimes it was scrappy enough, but we played well at times and the main thing was getting the result.”
The all-important goal arrived after just 10 minutes when Scott McNally hatched out an opening for Phil Thompson to steady himself before dispatching the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
The Tech Terriers ought to have built on those early foundations, but Lee Thompson was twice foiled by the Holywood keeper, before screwing one wide when straight through on goal.
Thompson could have doubled his tally, but swung with his less reliable foot instead of taking it onto this more favoured right –and it was defender Rab Hunter who came closer with two headers in quick succession cleared off the line.
The tie ought to have been done and dusted by the half-way mark, but the Tech’s precarious one-goal advantage was never really threatened and it was the Larne boys who looked the more likely with Andy Bell going close with a free-kick. Gary Barkley ought to have done better than to volley a Willie Hamilton cross wide, from just a few yards out.
Larne Tech OB: Mills – Hyslop, Montgomery, Hunter, Agnew (Hamilton) – L Thompson, A Mulvenna, Barkley, McNally – Bell, P Thompson (McCammon). Sub (unused) McLoughlin. Player in: Darren McNeill, M, Wellington Rec.