A professional performance from Larne earned them a deserved 2-0 win at the Welders on Saturday, booking their place in the last 16 of the Coca-Cola Intermediate Cup.
Meticulous match planning worked again for delighted Reds’ boss Davy McAlinden: “The game plan worked and the reaction to the result at Institute was exactly what I wanted. We were never under great pressure and I thought we were comfortable defensively.
“Both Stuart Scott and Jamie Mitchell were outstanding in the middle and they really broke the play up for us. It wasn’t the day for knocking it about, but I am delighted to be in the next round.”
In atrocious conditions, there was little to choose between the sides. A superb pass from Mitchell sent Paul Maguire free on 27 minutes; his well-struck shot appeared to take a touch for a corner but the referee thought otherwise.
Moments later Robbie White set up Stuart King who was denied by a fine save from Michael Dougherty. The home keeper then gifted Larne their opener 13 minutes after the break.
A speculative shot from the impressive Mitchell looked to be covered but Dougherty allowed it to find the net.
Chris Keenan kept the Larne lead intact with a great one-handed save to deny Mark Magennis 15 minutes from time.
With seconds remaining, Larne sealed the win when White hammered home from the penalty spot following a hand ball in the box.
The Reds will travel to face Bangor in the next round on February 15.
H&W Welders: Dougherty, Spence, Armstrong, Irvine, McMurray, Simpson, Middleton, Devine, Cockcroft, Harris. Subs Burrows, Dickson, Beattie, Dennis, Magennis.
Larne: Keenan, Todd, Black, Wharry, McNamee, Crawford (N.McAllister 67), Scott, Mitchell, Maguire, White, King. Subs: Picking, J.McAllister, Heggarty.