Larne boss Davy McAlinden will be without the services of captain and striker Paul Maguire for today’s Irish Cup clash against Ballyclare Comrades.
“Paul will be missing because of a pre-arranged trip and that’s a wee bit of a loss,” McAlinden told the Times. “But we have had Robbie White sitting on the bench and he will be able to fill the void. And we have a few other players who are almost ready to come back as well.”
McAlinden made it back-to-back wins as Inver Park boss last weekend with a 1-0 league victory over Lisburn Distillery.
“The first-half was scrappy and I wasn’t happy with our contribution and the fact we didn’t get what we expected from the team. So we questioned that at half-time and we got the sort of reaction we wanted from them.
“There weren’t many clear-cut chances but Maguire got the winner and we maybe should have had more and we deserved to beat what is a good Distillery side that was coming off the back of a couple of wins,” he said.
December could prove a defining month in terms of the overall season for the new boss and his team, with matches in the Irish Cup and Intermediate Cup followed by league clashes against title contenders Institute and Carrick.
After a pretty long series of home draws in knockout competitions, Larne will be on the road for the next two Saturdays, the Irish Cup derby match against Ballyclare Comrades followed by a trip to Chimney Corner in the Intermediate Cup.
“The clash with Ballyclare is a big game for us, because everybody wants to still be in the hat for the draw when the so-called big boys join the action and we are certainly no different.
“The Comrades have been doing well and have only been beaten once at home, that being the 1-0 defeat by Bangor last Saturday. So, it will be a stern test for us and we will have to go there with determination and total concentration.”