CHAMPIONSHIP 1: Honours even between Larne and Bangor

Larne skipper Paul Maguire puts the ball past the Bangor keeper to put his side one up. INLT 38-012-PSB
Larne skipper Paul Maguire puts the ball past the Bangor keeper to put his side one up. INLT 38-012-PSB

Larne and Bangor shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Inver Park but it will be the home side who will be disappointed they didn’t take all three points.

“That was massively frustrating especially in the first half [when] we missed so many chances to put the game to bed,” said Larne boss Davy McAlinden.

“I thought that any chances Bangor got were given to them by us with silly clearances and not pressing the ball.

“The majority of our play I can’t fault but we can’t keep switching it on and off. Some of the stuff we played was excellent but it is the players I feel sorry for as they are selling themselves short as the game was there to be won.”

Bangor started brightly and Paddy Flood in the home goal was at full stretch to tip away a Gerard McMullan header after only four minutes.

Nine minutes later Larne were in front. A corner from Gerard Gillan was dropped into the danger zone to find Keke who rattled the crossbar. First to react was Paul Maguire who hammered it home.

Larne then began to take control with Michael Smith, Anto McGonnell and Maguire going close to adding to the scoreline. With 66 minutes gone Bangor grabbed an equaliser when substitute Ethan Boylan’s shot took a wicked deflection over the head of Flood into the net.

After Flood had produced an outstanding save to keep out a Mark Cooling free-kick. the Reds almost grabbed a last-minute winner.

The ball fell to Maguire who saw his effort strike the bar, it then broke to James McCabe but his shot was somehow blocked on the line by Dean Youle. The ball again fell to Maguire but this time keeper Chris Johns blocked the shot as the final whistle blew.

Larne are in action again on Tuesday night when they host Sport & Leisure in the Toals sponsored County Antrim Shield (7:45pm).

Larne: Flood, McGrandless, Smith, McClean ,Reynolds, McMullan, Irvine, G.Gillan, Stuart(McCabe 57),Maguire, Keke (McGonnell 57), Robinson. Unused subs: Donnnelly, Rodgers, Stitt.

Bangor: Johns, Long, Youle, Wray, Nixon, Walsh, Curry, Cooling, Morrow, McDowell, McMullan. Subs: Boylan, Gibson, Upritchard, Beattie, Melly.

Referee: Peter McGrath (Newtownabbey).