LARNE FC: We need to stop conceding easy goals, says McAlinden

Intermediate Cup action between Larne FC and East Belfast at Inver Park. INLT 03-004-PSB
Intermediate Cup action between Larne FC and East Belfast at Inver Park. INLT 03-004-PSB
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Larne boss Davy McAlinden says it’s imperative his team tighten up in defence after Saturday’s 4-3 Intermediate Cup second-round win over East Belfast.

Inver new boy Sammy McIlveen scored twice on his debut and Cliftonville loanee Ciaran Murray chipped in with a brace of his own.

Larne`s Samuel McIlveen scored twice in their 4-3 win over East Belfast in the Intermediate Cup. INLT 03-003-PSB

Larne`s Samuel McIlveen scored twice in their 4-3 win over East Belfast in the Intermediate Cup. INLT 03-003-PSB

Boss McAlinden got a different perspective on his personnel, watching the first half from the stands but he had concerns about his side’s vigilance at the back.

“The big positive is that we are into the next round but there a number of things we need to rectify. However, it’s up to myself and the rest of the management team to put those right.

“Sitting in the stand allowed me to see things that I don’t see from the sideline. It was frustrating sometimes but it allowed me to be more analytical and now we look forward to the next round. We will work hard all week but the main aim is to stop conceding easy goals.”

McIlveen, who signed from Ballyclare, was making his first appearance in a Larne shirt and he was over the moon to have been in the thick of the action.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better debut,” he said after the game. “It has been frustrating since I agreed to sign in December and then with the postponements I had to wait until today to get started.

“It was good to get on the scoresheet which was unusual for me and the boss told me I was on penalties if we got one.

“When we got ahead we should have killed them off but allowed them back into it but thankfully we got the victory. I know I need to be on top of my game every week as there is a lot of depth in the squad here so there are plenty of players wanting to take my place.”

The Inver Reds were one down after five minutes when a cross from Warren Pinkerton wasn’t dealt with by Kevin Bradley, allowing Steven Robb to beat Paddy Flood from 10 yards.

McIlveen’s penalty levelled matters and he put Larne in the driving seat on 12 minutes, pouncing on a loose ball for his second.

Pinkerton, who should have been closed down, restored parity when his 30-yard effort sailed over Flood.

Murray then edged Larne in front with 12 minutes to go, but poor defending allowed William Gill to level things up again.

Late on, sub Guillaume Keke found Murray and he sent Larne through to round three - and a tie against Downpatrick - with a deft of finish.