News Story

Invermen left frustrated by Oval defeat

It was a frustrating day away to Glentoran as Larne left the Oval empty handed, thanks to Marcus Kane’s late winner.

Kane’s goal, with 16 minutes left proved the decisive one after Jeff Hughes’ opener was cancelled out by Paul O’Neill goal in the first half.

Meanwhile, it was a first league start for Conor Mitchell who was drafted in after an injury to first choice keeper Conor Devlin. Young stopper McKenzie Pauley was also on the bench and new signing Conor McKendry was brought on as a second half substitute.

Both teams began neck and neck early on as the two sets of forwards were active in the box.

Sean Graham almost scored a repeat of his goal away to Crusaders two weeks ago with six minutes gone, but Marijan Antolovic produced a fine stop to deny him from 20 yards.

O’Neill swivelled from 10 yards out but fired over the bar and Hrovje Plum’s free-kick was palmed over the bar by Conor Mitchell in what were good opportunities for the hosts

Larne took the lead in unlikely circumstances just over half an hour into the game as Jeff Hughes’ speculative strike from 25 yards out was misjudged by Antolovic, who let the ball slip through his hands. 

The home side equalised only five minutes later as Elvio Van Overbeek lofted the ball inside the box to Paul O’Neill at the near post who turned and finished nicely past Mitchell to his bottom right.  

Larne had a good chance early in the second period as Marty Donnelly’s effort was turned away by Antolovic at his near post. 

Meanwhile for the visitors, Fuad Sule got himself into a good position but blazed well over from eight yards out on 70 minutes.

The Glens took the lead for the first time with 16 minutes to go after a long throw from Conor Pepper, which Mitchell failed to hold, was knocked in by Glens skipper Kane

In the end, both sides played attractive football but Larne were perhaps left to rue missed chances in the final third. 

Glentoran: Antolovic, Pepper, Peers, McClean, Kane (c), Crowe, Plum, Herron (Gordon 81), Van Overbeek (Frazer 64), McDaid, O’Neill (Murray 72)

Unused subs: Smith, Morris, Duric, Stewart

Larne: Mitchell, Kelly, Watson, McEleney, Sule (McKendry 89), Randall (Lynch 52), McDaid, Graham, Cosgrove, Hughes (c), McMurray (Lynch 52)

Unused subs: Pauley, Ramsey, Tilney, Andrade

The Invermen then head back on the road once again on Saturday 14 September as they face relegation-threatened Institute. Kick off at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium is the earlier time of 2pm. 

Photograph: Bill Guiller

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