There was a share of the spoils in Saturday’s ‘blood-and-thunder’ 1A derby as Larne Tech’s Marty Steele popped up with a last-gasp equaliser to claim a 3-3 draw with Barn United at Dennis Harvey Park.
“We’re disappointed at conceding so late, but the way the Tech celebrated shows how well we played; celebrating a draw against ten men, and the way the Tech have been playing, it’s a good result for us. The boys really worked their socks off,” said Barn assistant-manager Robert McKee.
Tech boss Johnny Hastings agreed: “It was a physical enough game, with a few off-the-ball incidents. We weren’t at our best; it’s as poor as we’ve been for a while, and I’m happy to get a draw – but it will do us no harm - especially with Crumlin Star coming up this Saturday.”
Barn who were first off the mark with a goal in the opening minute as John Mathers glanced home Gary McKee’s perfectly measured corner.
Lee Thompson twice went close for the Tech before his strike partner Sencer Yilmaz restored parity with a right-foot shot from the edge of the box.
Barn had lost striker Andy Kane to injury and things degenerated further when defender Paul Mathers was red-carded on 15 minutes.
The 10 men were caught out on the half-hour when Sean Ward hooked the ball over for Yilmaz to stab in from close range.
Yilmaz could have completed his hat-trick shortly afterwards, nodding a Hyslop cross just the wrong side of the right hand upright.
Ten-man Barn, however, bridged the gap just after the break when John Mathers rounded three defenders before beating Jackie Wallace from a tight angle. And United inched back in front courtesy of substitute Aaron Sharkey.
The Tech had the final say when when Marty Steele showed his mettle, turning the ball past Brennan to claim a point.
Larne Tech OB: Wallace – M Hyslop, R Thompson, Steele, Campbell – Cahill, Montgomery, Ward, Monaghan (Mulvenna) – Yilmaz, L Thompson (McConaghy). Sub not used: Shields.
Barn United: Brennan – Alexander, P Mathers, Patterson – Boyce (Sharkey), Armstrong, McKee, McFetridge, Monteith – Kane (Omar), J Mathers (Ritchie).