Veteran defender Colin Nixon praised his new team-mates as Larne bounced back from two goals down to claim a point in a 2-2 draw with Loughgall at Inver Park.
Striker Paul Maguire pulled a goal back after a Warner Mullen double had fired the visitors into a two-goal lead. Mullen’s second came from a disputed penalty.
But Larne made sure of a share of the spoils when sub Guillaume Keke found the net. And on another day the Reds would have won as the visitors’ goal had a charmed life with a mixture of great saves and scrambled clearances saving their bacon.
Nixon, who was making his debut in a Larne shirt, said: “I think the way the game panned out we probably deserved to win. Coming from two down it always going to be difficult especially after their second goal which was never a penalty.
“Had it been at the other end I wouldn’t have been claiming it, but credit to the boys for the way they fought back. Since I arrived I have been impressed by the standard and quality of the squad and it is a club that wants to go places and that is why I signed.
“I am obviously disappointed we didn’t get a win in my first game, we have a good blend of youth and experience and that is why I am here to do add a bit of experience and do what I can to help the club to get promoted.”
Larne manager Davy McAlinden, sent to the stands for the second half after sharing his thoughts with the referee, told the Times: “On another day we could have scored five or six goals. They are a good side and scored a great first goal butt the penalty (decision) was a travesty.
“I feel bad for the boys as they were excellent especially in the second half when we were the better team but sometimes you have days like that. There was great attitude and application from all the boys and we played some great stuff.
“It took us time to get going but once we got to grips with the game there were so many positives and we will take them all forward.”
McAlinden also confirmed that no departures are planned from the squad. “Yes, we have brought in new faces but no-one is being forced out and everyone can stay and fight for their place.”