LARNE Tech Old Boys showed their Steel Cup mettle with a 2-1 second-round victory at Barn United’s Haslett Park.
Tech manager Jeff Russell classed it as a “good team performance”. He added: “We played well and it’s a well deserved win.”
Opposite number Jim Pherson conceded: “The Tech just shaded it. It must be the best Tech team they’ve had in years. But we felt two key decisions just didn’t fall for us – a free kick that led to their second goal, where Keith Millar won the ball cleanly in the tackle – and then near the end when one of their defenders, with his hand up to protect his face, handled inside the box.”
Bertie Fulton and Damien McLaughlin had both tested keeper Gary McClune before the Antivilleians forged ahead; McLaughlin heading in a pinpoint cross from young Niall McConaghy.
Barn bounced back just before the break when the unsighted Steven Mills could only help an Andy Kane snapshot into his own net.
In the second half the Tech terriers inched back in front, with McLaughlin nodding Fulton’s free kick over for Gary Barkley to do the needful from close range.
Barn predictably mounted a late assault, but invariably their route to goal was blocked by the twin towers of Gary Haveron and Andy Bell – although they did have that penalty appeal six minutes from time.
Barn United; McClune – Kelly (R McAllister), Wakeham, P Mathers, D Wright (S McAllister) – McKee, Millar, Anderson, Osborne (Owens) – Kane, Shimmon.
Larne Tech OB; Mills – M Hyslop, Bell, Haveron, Crawford – Barkley, Loughlins (Thompson), Kane – McConaghy (McCann), McLaughlin, Fulton. Sub (unused) Galway.
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