STEEL CUP: Larne labour to win over United

Larne FC assistant-manager Mark Carlisle. INLT 26-937-CON
Larne FC assistant-manager Mark Carlisle. INLT 26-937-CON

Larne will travel to face Chimney Corner in the next round of the Steel & Sons Cup after they laboured to a 2-0 win over Ballymoney United at Inver Park.

Having failed to score in their opening two games this was a confidence boost for the Reds. With manager Davy McAlinden on a coaching course, his assistant Mark Carlisle summed up the game.

“The win was the priority today as the confidence was low. In the first-half we knocked the ball about well. Their keeper pulled off some excellent saves but we maybe could have added a few more.

“Credit to Ballymoney they gave it a real go but the second goal sealed it. We were a bit cautious at times when with more confidence we would do those things naturally.”

A mixture poor finishing and inspired goalkeeping kept the game scoreless. Paul Maguire, Ciaran Murray, Gerard Gillan and Chris Rodgers all went close in the opening 10 minutes.

Larne edged ahead on 20minutes. After being fouled on the edge of the box Murray picked himself up to drill the free-kick low into the corner. Two minutes before the break an inter-change between Murray and Gillan set up a chance for Maguire who shot inches over.

The visitors should have levelled after the break. Stephen Lyons on the right crossed for Mark Dempsey who should have hit the target but dragged his shot wide.

With 20 minutes left Maguire looked to have doubled the lead with a sweetly struck shot but United keeper Brian Moore pulled off a superb save to keep it out.

The insurance goal came on 79 minutes. Again, good build-up play opened the United defence and Murray was on hand to fire low into the corner of the net.

LARNE: Flood, McClean, Rodgers (Woods 78) ,Reynolds, Burns, Irvine (Donnelly 70), G. Gillan, Maguire, Murray, McCabe, Robinson. Unused subs: McMullan, Stuart.

BALLYMONEY UNITED: Moore, McAuley, Fallon, O’Boyle, Gault, Stewart, McKenna, Dempsey, Lyons, McMullan. Subs: Rooney, Elder, C. O’Boyle.

Referee: A. Woodside