IRISH CUP: COMRADES 4 LARNE 1

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Ballyclare Comrades booked their place in the next round of the Irish Cup with a convincing 4-1 against neighbours Larne at Dixon Park.

Winning manager Eddie Hill was full of praise for his players. “It was tight in the first half but after the break they gave me exactly what I asked for and I thought they were outstanding.

“When we regained the lead we really pushed on and we fully deserved it. I don’t mind who we get in the next round we will just get our heads down and play our normal game,” he said.

Tasting defeat for the first time as Larne manager Davy McAlinden had no excuses. “We didn’t deserve anything from the game,” he said. “We didn’t play in the first-half but we responded after the break but it was worrying that we tired late on.

“The players know they have let themselves down but the manner of this defeat is just not acceptable. It will hurt a lot in the morning to see the score line in the paper but we will get back at it in training and try to put it right,” added McAlinden

The Comrades started strongly and went ahead on 23 minutes. Stuart Scott upended Johnny McClurg in the box and he dusted himself down before firing home the spot-kick.

Larne levelled on 56 minutes with Niall McAllister firing home before Trussell made it 2-1 to the home side on the hour.

With 15 minutes left, Trussell saw his shot parried into the path of Kyle Agnew who finished it off.

Wilkinson wrapped things up two minutes from time. His first effort rattled the upright but he was quickly onto the rebound to find the net.

BALLYCLARE COMRADES: Flood, Monteith, Buckley, McAlea (McClean 89), Doyle, Getty, Agnew, McClurg, Trussell, Wilkinson, Gray. Subs not used: Cooper, Higgins, Rainey, Doherty.

LARNE: McRandall, Scott, Black, Wharry (Todd 85), McNamee, N.McAllister, Irvine (Hughes 75), Picking, King, White, Gargan (J. McAllister 70).

Referee: Evan Boyce (Ballygowan).

More reaction in this week’s Times