Report: Andrew Morrison
Larne remain fourth in the Danske Bank Premiership following a 1-1 draw at home to Glentoran after John Herron’s opening goal was cancelled out by Jay Donnelly 20 minutes from time.
Herron broke the deadlock with a goal against his former club on 48 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to seal the points as Donnelly cancelled it out, as Glentoran finished the game strongly.
An end to end start to the game saw a mix up between John Herron and Kofi Balmer as the ball fell to Glensman Conor McMenamin at the edge of the box but only for his shot to go over the bar.
Meanwhile, moments later the home side sprung a quick counter with Herron again involved. His ball out wide was quickly met with an early cross into the box with the midfielders header narrowly missing the target.
As both teams struggled to take control of the game in the early stages, the better efforts were coming from the Inver Reds. This time a well worked move down the right side saw Tomas Cosgrove find Ben Doherty 30 yards from goal as his long range effort looked to be dipping under the cross bar but instead failed to test Glendinning in goal.
With both teams settling into the game it was Larne who saw more of the ball but they struggled to create any meaningful chances. Likewise, Glentoran were held to speculative efforts from range as neither goalkeeper was extensively tested and the score remained 0-0.
In the closing moments of the first half it was the visitors who were beginning to dictate play but similarly to their opponents they struggled to create anything meaningful with the possession.
Half time: Larne 0-0 Glentoran
After the restart Larne were the quicker out of the blocks and won and early free kick just inside the Glentoran half. A whipped Lee Lynch cross was met by the onrushing John Herron whose header found the bottom corner to make it 1-0 after 48 minutes.
The Inver Reds seemed to be lifted by the goal as the began to get forward in numbers and began test Glendinning in goal more often than in the first half.
Then the game sprung to life. In the 67th minute there was a moment of contention as Glens forward Jay Donnelly ran through on goal but went to ground just inside the box. With the visiting players and supporters adamant it was a penalty, but referee Keith Kennedy deemed Kofi Balmer won the ball cleanly.
Just moments later Larne had a penalty shout of their own as Ronan Hale went down following a loose leg from a Glentoran defender only for Kennedy to wave play on once more.
A hectic few minutes continued as Glentoran equalised in the 71st minute as a penalty box scramble saw the ball land at the foot of Jay Donnelly who converted in front of the McKay Stand.
The equaliser seemed to have the same affect for Glentoran as the opening goal did for Larne as the ten minutes that followed were dominated by the East Belfast side. As chances fell the way their way they came close to going ahead on several occasions but the Inver Reds managed to hold firm until full time.
Larne: Ferguson, Balmer, Kelly, Sule, Herron, Nasseri (’76 Bolger), Hale, Doherty (’76 McDaid), Lynch, Cosgrove, Hughes
Unused subs: Argyrides, Watson, McDaid, Oluwa, Scott, Bolger, Adair
Glentoran: Glendinning, McCullough, Burns, Marshall (’80 Bigiramana), J Donnelly, McDaid (’69. R Donnelly), McClean, Clucas (’56 Smith), Marron (’46 Crowe), McMenamin, Plum (’69 Cushnie)
Unused subs: Jenkins, Morris
Referee: Keith Kennedy