The term a game of two halves is the most nauseating in football, so it was refreshing that Davy McAlinden didn’t use it to describe what happened on Saturday in Larne’s remarkably eventful Steel and Sons Cup match against Dromara Village.
The 7-1 scoreline disguises the story of a match in which all the goals came in a blistering second-half performance from a Reds side which looked very different from that which failed to find a flare gear in the opening period and which saw two Larne players carried off.
Indeed that first 45 minutes was a forgettable affair, notable only for a horrific clash of heads as the two visiting players went for the same ball in the air.
“Owen Thompson required 11 stitches to his forehead and sustained a broken nose as well. Stuart Scott needed three stitches to the top of his forehead and was knocked out in the collision,” McAlinden revealed.
“The physio, Dromara manager Gerard McMahon and myself joined in trying to make the two boys comfortable before they were ferried off to hospital. It was a worrying situation for a while but we went to see them in the Royal Hospital afterwards and they were dealt with and well looked after.
“Otherwise that first half had been nothing to talk about. We hadn’t done anything wrong, but we asked them at halftime to go out and pass the way they know they can.
“They did just that and, hey presto, we were 3-0 up after six minutes and went on to win. And, I’ll tell you what, when they play like that I don’t care who the opposition might be, they will struggle to cope with these players.
“I have total belief in them, because they are a quality bunch and they are a delight to watch in this sort of form. They hadn’t really done it so far this season, but they now know they can and we just want to see more of it.
“Let’s hope they play as they did in the second half and apply themselves properly when Bangor come to Inver on Saturday. They are another of the title contenders and we know they are a good side and will be tough to beat, but I think they will get a good game from our boys.
“We need to start getting points on the board for we are better than our league position suggests at this stage,” insisted McAlinden.