LARNE FC: Inver Reds blow play-off hopes with defeat at Bangor

Larne manager, David McAlinden.

Larne manager, David McAlinden.

  • Championship 1: Bangor 2-1 Larne

Larne blew their chance of a play-off place when after taking the lead they went down 2-1 at Bangor.

With Institute losing, it was a golden opportunity to stay in the hunt but, frankly, Bangor, looked more like the team who needed the three points.

After seeing Andy Morrow’s shot blocked Larne took control and should have been ahead on six minutes. Paul Maguire’s weighted pass sent Guillaume Keke clear but Thomas Wray did well to deny him a scoring chance.

The woodwork thwarted Larne on 10 minutes. Sammy McIlveen floated in a free-kick which was met by James McCabe who headed against the bar.

The breakthrough came after 23 minutes when a McIlveen corner broke to Thomas Robinson and his low drive flew into the corner.

Stephen Curry had a great chance to level when he got to Andy Morrow’s cross but failed to hit the target. Larne were then hit by a sucker punch on the half-hour. A loose ball was picked up by Barry Walsh whose shot was off-target but it took a wicked deflection leaving Billy Brennan stranded.

Just after the break Maguire again set up Keke but again the big striker was off target. The Reds continued to press with Darren Stuart seeing his effort blocked and McIlveen’s 30-yard strike flying inches wide.

As the time ticked away Scott Irvine teed up Stuart who will be disappointed not to have got his header on target.

He did get the next one on target when he was first to react to Eoin Gillan’s knock-on but the header hit the crossbar. Then, with all the players pushing forward, Larne were hit on the break as Jordan Lucas raced clear to kill off the challenge.

BANGOR: Gibbons, Beattie, Pike, Wray, Niddowson, Walsh, Long, Watson, Morrow, Curry, McMullan. Subs: Youle, Cooling, Lynch, Lucas.

LARNE: Brennan, Bradley, Rodgers (McGrandless 34), Nixon, McIlveen (Gillan 75), Irvine, Stuart, Maguire, Keke, McCabe (Calvert 18), Robinson. Subs not used. Donnelly, McManus.

Referee: D. Simenas

Elsewhere, Larne Olympic lost 4-1 against Cookstown Youth.