Larne earned a hard-fought point against visitors Warrenpoint Town on Saturday, writes PAUL CAMPBELL.
The Reds had led through a Scott Irvine penalty, but found themselves on the back foot in the second half and the visitors levelled 12 minutes from time.
Larne boss Graham McConnell said it was a fair result. “Having been ahead you look for three points, but yes, at the end of the game both teams deserved a point. We were hoping to restore pride in the side and we did that.
“There was a good balance to the side and I honestly believe if we can keep this squad together they will be a very good side in a couple of years. We now have to reshuffle the side again for the cup tie on Monday night but it is good that we have a number of experienced players who didn’t feature today available for the game against Lurgan Celtic,” he said.
Larne were awarded a 33rd-minute penalty when new signing Lee Thompson showed a great turn of pace, but as he attempted to round the keeper he went down leaving Irvine to hammer home the spot-kick.
Thompson had a chance to extend the lead just after the break when he raced clear, but Jonathan Parr did well to make the save.
Warrenpoint then piled on the pressure and deservedly levelled on 77 minutes.
A corner from Mark Hughes on the right found Stephen Hughes who forced the ball in at the back post.
It was backs-to-the-wall for Larne in the dying minutes and it took two excellent saves from Chris Keenan in the final five minutes to secure the point.
Larne: Keenan, Murray, Magill, McAllister, Wharry, Workman, Irvine, Young, Thompson, Yilmaz, Crawford. Subs: Braniff, Moore (Crawford), Kane, McClean (Irvine), Conlon (Thompson).
Larne are set to host Lurgan Celtic in an Irish Cup fifth-round replay on tonight at 7:45pm.