LARNE and Portadown shared the spoils at Inver Park with both sides taking the lead at different points, but ultimately not doing enough in the end to secure the win.
The result leaves both the Inver Men and the Ports still unbeaten in seven league games, whilst Dundela’s 4-1 win over Limavady United means Larne drop to second in the table.
Early on in the match, Thomas Stewart was unable to reach Ben Tilney’s cross from the left after Declan Dunne got hold of the ball in the air on six minutes.
Martin Donnelly’s fierce free-kick from 25 yards 13 minutes in forced an excellent stop from Dunne, with David Scullion’s follow up landing in the side-netting.
Shortly after a quarter of an hour, Christopher Lavery put Darren Murray one on one with Conor Devlin with the ex-Cliftonville keeper’s experience showing as he spread his body to block the shot.
With 22 minutes gone, Donnelly’s attempt from outside the box drifted over the crossbar, and hust before half an hour, Scullion got on the end of Tilney’s through-ball but was half a yard short in front of goal.
Portadown put themselves ahead on 35 minutes when Adam Salley converting from the penalty spot after Paul Finnegan was adjudged to have handled the ball, earning him a booking.
Larne equalised ten minutes later on the stroke of half time, with Donnelly curling his free-kick 23 yards from goal into the back of the net.
The Invermen then fired themselves in front for the first time 20 minutes from time when the returning David McDid provided a neat finish to Tomas Cosgrove’s right wing cross.
Five minutes later, this time it was the away side who snatched one back courtesy of Adam McCallum connecting his head to a Portadown free-kick.
With 79 minutes gone, Graham Kelly’s strike left the bar shaking with Jeff Hughes unable to provide the finish needed on the rebound.
Despite a flurry of chances in the final ten minutes, both teams couldn’t find the winner and left Inver Park with a point apiece.
Larne: Devlin, Sule, Finnegan, Kelly, Scullion (Hassin), Stewart (McDaid), Donnelly, Tilney (McEleney), McNally, Cosgrove, Hughes
Unused subs: Henry, Dougherty
Portadown: Dunne, McCallum, Flynn, Lavery, Kilmartin, Sailey, (Carmichael), Braniff, Murray (Douglas), Hall, Thompson, Mackie (Wilson)
Referee: Ken Gibbons
It’s another East Antrim derby in less than a fortnight as Larne travel to Ballyclare to take on the Comrades on Saturday 29th September. Kick off at Dixon Park is 3pm.