News Story

Invermen take positives from Bannsiders draw

Peter Wilson reports from the Coleraine Showgrounds

Larne played out their second goalless draw in as many weeks, this time coming away with a point agains title-chasing Coleraine.

Kick-off was delayed after Coleraine stopper Chris Johns was forced to change his purple strip just before kick off as it clashed with Larne’s away kit of the same colour.

Once the game kicked off, the visitors burst into life inside the first minute as Tomas Cosgrove played a neat one-two with Marty Donnelly on the right before the number 11 laid off to Lee Lynch but his low cross did little to trouble  Johns in the Coleraine goal as he got down low to deal with it. 

Larne should really have gone ahead just over 10 minutes later as Donnelly was put through on goal by Fuad Sule; with Johns using his feet to deny him first time round with his follow-up effort blocked by Aaron Canning. 

In a decent chance for the home side, Lyndon Kane popped up in the box but his low cross-shot was kicked behind by Devlin on 21 minutes. 

The Invermen had another opportunity towards the business end of the first half as Mark Randall found Jeff Hughes inside the penalty area but the midfielder saw his looping header edge wide.

In first half stoppage time, after a foul on Ben Doherty, Eoin Bradley could only turn his free-kick into the side-netting. 

The second period did not have much life about it until 71 minutes when substitute Conor McKendry had a stab at goal from 20 yards out but his strike dipped just over the crossbar. 

The hosts had a chance at the other end a minute later as Kane played the ball across goal to Bradley from the right with Devlin somehow blocking the striker’s touch from going in.

The real drama perhaps came during the seven minutes of stoppage time added on as first, Shane McEleney blazed well over from eight yards out before Aaron Jarvis’ speculative effort from distance cannoned of the bar. 

Coleraine thought they had won a penalty in the dying moments of the game as Doherty went down under the challenge of Devlin but Raymond Crangle was only pointing for a goal kick. 

In the end, both sides were unable to convert what chances they did create, and so a draw was probably a fair result. 

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Mullan (Douglas 78), Canning, Jarvis, Doherty, Lowry, Bradley, (Maciulaitis 72), Carson, Glackin (Parkhill 61), Traynor

Unused subs: McConaghie, Gawne, McGuckin, Gallagher

Larne: Devlin, Flowers, Kelly, Watson, Sule, Randall (McEleney 88), Donnelly (Tilney 75), Lynch (McKendry 67), Cosgrove, Hughes, McMurray

Unused subs: Pauley, Graham, Andrade, Gilmour

Referee: Raymond Crangle

Next up for the Invermen is Friday’s league encounter at home to Glenavon. Kick-off at Inver Park is 7.45pm.

Photo: Bill Guiller.

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