MATCH REPORT: Loughgall 2 Larne 4

Ciaran Murray scored Larne's fourth goal against Loughgall

Ciaran Murray scored Larne's fourth goal against Loughgall

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Larne moved into second place in the Championship 1 table after a hard-fought but deserved 4-2 win at Loughgall.

After a shaky start in which saw the home side miss two clear-cut chances, the Reds settled down and apart from a backs-to-the-wall spell in the final 20 minutes, they bagged their eighth win of the campaign.

“I had asked the players for three points today and they delivered. The way we played left us a bit vulnerable at times but I would take 4-2 wins like that every week,” said manager Davy McAlinden.

“The players have to take a lot of the credit for the goals, especially the ones from the corners which they have been working on. We are delighted with the performance and the result as we knew Loughgall would come out of the traps quickly.”

After Colm Curtis had missed the proverbial sitter for the home side, an in-swinging corner from Stuart King found Stuart McMullan who headed into the net to give Larne the lead.

Curtis then made amends for the home side, netting the equaliser on 25 minutes with a well-struck shot.

Another corner again put the visitors ahead as Paul Maguire headed in Ciaran Murray’s near-post delivery.

On the stroke of half-time King’s corner was headed back across the danger area by McMullan for Michael McClean to force it home.

Larne added their fourth on 58 minutes when Murray outpaced the home defence to sweep the ball into the net.

Loughgall then pushed forward in numbers and pulled one back thanks to a fine strike from Stephen Ferguson but Larne held on for the points.

Larne: Stitt, Smyth, McClean, Reynolds, McMullen, Irvine, King, E. Gillan, Maguire (McCabe), Murray (Davidson), G. Gillan (Scott). Subs not used: Davidson Thompson, C. Gillan.