LARNE FC: Inver Reds miss out on play-off by a single goal

Chris Rodgers in action for Larne FC in their 6-1 win over Lisburn Distillery at Inver Park. INLT 17-001-PSB
Chris Rodgers in action for Larne FC in their 6-1 win over Lisburn Distillery at Inver Park. INLT 17-001-PSB
  • Championship 1: Larne 6-1 Lisburn Distillery

There was an agonising end to the season for Larne as the Inver Park side missed out on a play-off by one single goal after a late flurry against Lisburn Distillery.

The Invermen went into the match needing to collect three points, Institute to lose at Ballyclare and produce a seven goal swing.

In the end David McAlinden’s men missed out by two goals in the goal difference column.

Things may have been different had they been quicker out of the blocks, but all of the goals came in the final 25 minutes of the match.

The best the home side could muster was Scott Irvine’s shot against the post from the corner of the 18 yard box.

The deadline was finally broken on 65 minutes as top goalscorer Guillaume Keke took advantage of a lapse in the Distillery backline to tap home.

He got on the end of goalkeeper Billy Brennan’s long clearance, nipping in between defender and goalkeeper to tap home.

Four minutes and Larne doubled their advantage as Darren Stuart’s low cross was converted at the back post by John Donnelly.

McAlinden’s men were well on top by this stage and Keke pounced for his second of the day with 16 minutes left on the clock.

Darren Stuart then got in on the act as he make it 4-0 by cooly slotting into the top corner.

Paul Maguire was hacked down in the area with eight minutes remaining and Sammy McIlveen sent the keeper the wrong way.

Larne’s hopes of the play-offs were all but ended when Distillery broke to pull one back with Darius Roohi firing into the top corner on 87 minutes.

John Donnelly bagged a goal in stoppage time to leave his side tantalisingly close to a play-off, but they fell short by the finest of margins.

Larne: Brennan, Bradley, Chris Rodgers, Calvert (Donnelly), Irvine, McGonnell, Gillan, McManus (McIlveen), Stuart, Maguire, Keke

Subs: Paul Rodgers, Swann, McGoran

Lisburn Distillery: Nelson, Gibson, Begley, Burns, Simpson, McIlhagga, Chapman (Knipe), Halfpenny, Granger (Mertagh), O’Connor, Roohi.

Subs: Luke, Larmour, Knipe, Macklin