Larne’s Scott Irvine, who suffered a serious head injury when he collided with a wall at Inver Park during an Irish Cup clash against Carrick Rangers in January, insists he wants to put it all behind him and concentrate on playing football.
Saturday’s 7-0 demolition of Lisburn Distillery was the midfielders first league start since the incident, and he marked the occasion by firing home the opening goal from 25 yards.
His performance suggests the former Ballyclare Comrades and Barn United player has never been away, but he feels he’s still working his way back to full match sharpness.
“It’s probably happened sooner than I thought it was going to be,” he said. “I’ve been working hard and going to the gym every day that I haven’t been training. The run of games with the reserves has been a massive help.
“The Ballymoney game came at the perfect time for me. I just want to put the injury behind me now and get back to the level I was at last year before I got hurt.”
Larne manager Davy McAlinden told the Times: “Unquestionably the best moment of Saturday’s game was when Scott smashed in the first goal from distance.
“It was great to see him score and it marks an amazing recovery from the horrific injury he sustained in the Irish Cup match against Carrick in January.
“He has been playing well since his comeback. It’s like he’s never been away and I notice a change in the way he plays the game, not so much blood-and-thunder, but now more calculated in his approach and it’s great to see.
“We’d been a little bit edgy after losing the first two league games, but his superb goal kick-started what was a tremendous performance which has restored any confidence doubts that may possibly have existed.”