MATCH REPORT: Larne 1 Donegal Celtic 1

Jonathan McMurray on a charge for Larne in the match with Donegal Celtic. INLT 14-326-PR
Jonathan McMurray on a charge for Larne in the match with Donegal Celtic. INLT 14-326-PR

It was a case of two points dropped for Larne on Saturday when they drew 1-1 with Donegal Celtic.

The Reds could have had the game done and dusted by the break having led through a Stuart King goal. They failed to push on, however, and a 94th-minute equaliser saw the spoils shared.

It was a frustrated Davy McAlinden, the Larne boss, who spoke to the Times after the game. “I don’t know how we didn’t win 6-0 we should have been out of sight. The opportunities were there and on another day we would have taken our chances and we would all be going home happy,” he said.

And the young manager wasn’t surprised that the visitors had grabbed an equaliser.

“They showed good character and if my players had done the same we would have had three points in the bag,” he added.

Larne were quickly out of the blocks and the woodwork denied them the opener on seven minutes when Paul Maguire struck the post.

The deadlock was broken 60 seconds later when Johnny McMurray burst down the right and fired in a low cross. As Caolan Gillan took a touch he was upended 22 yards out. Stuart King took the resultant free-kick, firing it past former Larne keeper Gerard McErlean.

With half an hour gone Chris Keenan produced a fine save to deny Joe Todd.

McMurray had a chance to double the lead just after the break. He was sent clear by King only to see McErlean block his shot.

It wasn’t to be Maguire’s day as he got on the end of a Scott Irvine cross, only to see his header again strike the upright.

The visitors began to gain in confidence and with the last action of the game a corner from the left found Kevin Hughes in a crowded six-yard area and he forced the ball home.

LARNE: Keenan, Irvine, Black, Wharry, McNamee, Gillan, King, Mitchell, Maguire, White (Duffin 65), McMurray.

More Larne FC news and reaction from this game in this week’s Times. In shops on Wednesday.