Larne ‘sluggish’ against Bangor, says Keenan

Bangor's Ethan Boylan celebrates his hat-trick against Larne. Photo: Presseye.
Bangor's Ethan Boylan celebrates his hat-trick against Larne. Photo: Presseye.

Larne’s interest in the Coca-Cola Intermediate Cup came to an abrupt end on Saturday when they went down 3-0 at Bangor with their second-half performance among their worst of the season.

The grit and determination shown at the Welders in the previous round was in short supply with two Ethan Boylan goals in as many minutes shortly after the interval killing the game.

Goalkeeper Chris Keenan agreed it had been a poor performance.

“We didn’t do enough in the first half, resorting to the long ball. We looked sluggish and I think we had only one shot on target the whole game. It wasn’t us today but, truthfully, we were bullied and we were not at the races.

“We should be going further in competitions like this but we will have to pick ourselves up again. We are back here in a couple of weeks so hopefully we can put it right then,” he said.

The first half was a non-event. Paul Maguire fired a half-volley over the bar while at the other end Stephen O’Neill did the same for the home side.

The best chance fell to Mark Picking who saw his shot tipped over the bar on the half-hour.

After the break Bangor moved it up and gear and left Larne behind, going two up in the space of two minutes.

Three minutes into the half Jordan Forsythe, who tormented the Larne defence, set up Boylan who got in behind to fire past Keenan.

Larne were caught napping as the same player popped up on the opposite side of the box this time taking a Dom Melly pass a minute later and again the finish was clinical.

Boylan was then denied another, this time thwarted by a fine save from Keenan who was very vocal in his annoyance with the players in front of him.

The result was put beyond Larne’s reach 15 minutes from time. Andy Hall was the provider for Boylan who completed his hat-trick in style, sweeping the ball home.

With 10 minutes left the home side almost added a fourth but Robbie-Lee Crawford managed to clear off the line.

Larne were struggling to get out of their half and it took another fine save from Keenan a minute from time to prevent Andy Morrow adding a fourth.

The Reds are on the road again on Saturday with a trip to Lisburn Distillery.

Bangor: Cairnduff, Long, Gardner (Whitford), Youle, Hylands, Walsh, Hall, Melly, Boylan (Morrow), O’Neill, Forsyth (Lambe). Subs not used: Scates, Gibbons.

Larne: Keenan, Scott, Black, Wharry, McNamee, King. Picking (Crawford 56), Mitchell, Maguire, White, J. McAllister. Subs: N. McAllister, Heggarty.

Refree: E. Boyce