CHAMPIONSHIP 1: Larne suffer play-off blow with defeat at Welders

Welders' Chris Middleton with Larne's Anto McGonnell.  Photo: PressEye
Welders' Chris Middleton with Larne's Anto McGonnell. Photo: PressEye
  • Championship 1: HW Welders 2-1 Larne

Larne were dealt a blow to their hopes of a Championship 1 play-off place when, having led at the Welders, they went down 2-1.

The Reds had dominated the first half when they should have been further ahead but lost their way after the break.

With only six minutes on the clock the visitors hit the front. Anto McGonnell’s cross was played on by Maguire to Darren Stuart. His clever ball played in Scott Irvine who confidently fired into the net.

The midfielder could have added a second moments later but this time he dragged Eoin Gillan’s pass wide.

A slip in the Larne defence allowed Scott Davidson a clear run on goal but Billy Brennan was quickly out to block the shot.

Larne looked the more likely to add to the scoreline before the break. Bradley set up a chance for Samuel McIlveen who saw his shot blocked.

An even better chance fell Gillan two minutes before the break but with the same outcome; a big chance wasted.

Having already lost McIlveen to injury Larne suffered another blow when Irvine had to be replaced on 55 minutes.

With the midfield missing, the hosts took full advantage as they began to boss the game.

The Welders levelled after 63 minutes with a goal which should have been avoided. A loose pass was picked up by Scott McMillen. His ball over the top had the Larne defence scrambling and in stepped veteran striker David Rainey to score.

Six minutes later it needed a goal line clearance from McGonnell to prevent Darren Nixon’s header finding the net.

The winner came seven minutes from time. The Welders took a quick free-kick, picking out Rainey who was taken down in the box by Brennan allowing Scott Davidson to despatch the resultant penalty kick.

H&W WELDERS: Dougherty, Middleton, Armstrong, Nixon, Spence, McMillan, Devine, Davidson, K.Devine, Harris, Rainey. Subs: Boylan, Bowers, Dickson, Galbraith.

LARNE: Brennan, Bradley, McGonnell, McGrandles, Rodgers, Nixon, Gillan, Irvine (Keke 55), McIlveen (Donnelly 39),Stuart (McCabe 74), Maguire.

Referee: S. Gregg (Ballyclare).