Larne round off season with point against PSNI

Larne's Player of the Year, Ciaran Murray, scored the equaliser against PSNI
Larne's Player of the Year, Ciaran Murray, scored the equaliser against PSNI

Larne came from behind in their final match of the season to earn a 1-1 draw against visitors PSNI, who, having failed to win the game, are now relegated.

The Reds deserved a point from what was a very scrappy end of season affair to finish in a very credible fifth place.

For manager Davy McAlinden, it was a season of progress. “I thought we went at it and took the game to them. We showed character after last week’s performance and got a good goal to level.

“We have made good progress to get the highest position for the club in the Championship which is something to be proud of for the players. We will dust ourselves down and go again and aim to go one better.

“Since day one the aim has been to get promotion and that is what we will strive for. We know we are lacking a few players in key areas and we will be working hard to achieve that.

“We have been working hard in the background to get those players whether it be from amateur leagues or Premier league clubs who have been released. The players should also remember it is a privilege to play for this club and we will continue to work on the players who have still to decide.”

Larne started brightly with Player of the Year Ciaran Murray going close on six minutes. James McCabe was then played in only to see his shot blocked.

Nine minutes before the break Murray got on the end of a Gerald Gillan free-kick but was denied by a fine save from David Harrison.

The visitors, fighting to avoid the drop, were in the ascendancy after the break and took the lead through a cracking volley from Ryan Berry.

With 14 minutes left, Paul Maguire showed good close control to curl the ball wide of Harrison for the equaliser.

Larne: Connolly, Scott, Bradley, Smith, McMullan, McCabe, E. Gillan (Todd 46), G. Gillan, Maguire, Murray, Robinson (Stuart 68). Subs not used: McClean, Reynolds, McGoran

PSNI: Harrison, Gray, Blackledge, Dane, McCrory, Berry, Moody, Dobbin, Agnew, McDermott, McWillam. Subs: Anderson, Stewart, Holden, Adams, Bell

Referee: G. McIlwrath (Bangor).