Draw should be lesson for Larne

David McAlinden, Larne FC manager.
David McAlinden, Larne FC manager.

Larne chief Davy McAlinden was far from pleased with Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Knockbreda.

The young manager watched as his side squandered a 2-0 lead, allowing the Belfast outfit back into the game to claim a point.

It’s first time the Inver Reds have drawn a league game all season and McAlinden (pictured) wasn’t happy when his men got sucked into playing a deep defensive line as Raymond Bell’s charges battled back.

He said: “We were 2-0 in front and seemingly in control and then suddenly we weren’t!

“I thought we were good value for the two-goal lead and I really didn’t envisage us being pegged back.

“But they punted a long ball into the penalty box and their guy (James Wright) finished it well and that quickly changed the complexion of the game.

“For some reason I can’t explain, we played deeper and deeper and they kept on throwing the ball forward.

“Then, near the end they got a second goal. The penny dropped for our guys then and they went in search of a winner and we nearly got one on two occasions.

“It was annoying that we let that handsome lead slip because over the past four or five months the boys had been really good at seeing out games when we’ve got the advantage and I’m disappointed we didn’t manage to do the same here.

“Maybe it’s a new learning curve for us in appreciating the best way to hold on to what you have is to keep pressing forward in search of more goals.

“Now we have to hopefully redress the balance by heading to Dergview on Saturday with a great determination to get full points. That’s a tricky task, as the last two matches against them have shown. We beat them in the Irish Cup and then they got the better of us, winning 3-0 in the Intermediate Cup.

“It’s one we will be trying to win and we will go out with that objective in mind.”

McAlinden welcomes Stuart McMullan back from suspension, with Paul Maguire “making a bit of progress with his injury”. But, revealed the Inver supremo, there’s no chance of Darren Stuart getting back yet from his foot injury in time.

Read Stuart King’s views on Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Knockbreda on page 55.