Peter Wilson reports from Inver Park
BEN Tilney was once again on the scoresheet and Tomas Cosgrove scored his first goal for the club as Larne beat Knockbreda 2-0 in a scrappy affair at Inver Park. The result leaves the Invermen 13 league games unbeaten and six points clear at the top of the Championship ahead of next week’s tough encounter away to third-placed Portadown at Shamrock Park.
It was Tomas Cosgrove who opened for the hosts early on, netting from a loose ball after Martin Donnelly’s corner after three minutes.
The home side started brightly and, with 13 minutes gone, Jeff Hughes placed his swerving strike just wide of the mark at the near post.
Ben Tilney doubled the home side’s lead on 23 minutes, slotting into the bottom corner from a tight angle, being set up on the left with a fine ball from David Scullion.
Six minutes from the break, Scullion this time put Donnelly through one-on-one with Dean Smyth with the Breda keeper spreading himself to deny the club’s leading scorer.
Knockbreda’s first real chance of the game came early in the second period when after a clear run down the right, Brendan Bennett’s effort at close range struck off Conor Devlin with a defender reaching the ball before Ciaran Dobbin could pounce.
Substitute Darren Stuart had two opportunities to add Larne’s third just after the hour mark, driving his shot wide at the post on 65 minutes with his first touch and then flashing past the front post three minutes later.
Dean Smyth was then forced into making a low diving save at the back post from Donnelly’s 23 yard free-kick.
Stuart flicked onto McDaid with 10 minutes to go with the striker finishing in the side netting as Larne ran out winners by two clear goals.
Larne: Devlin, Sule, McEleney, Kelly, Scullion (Stuart 65), McDaid (Hassin 90), Donnelly, Tilney, McNally, Cosgrove, Hughes
Unused subs: Dougherty, Ramsey, Osei-Bonsu
Knockbreda: Smyth, Johnston, Dobbin (Roohi 72), McVeigh, Patterson, Copeland (McNulty 45), Fearon, Newberry, McNicholl (Baker 45), Bennett, Cafolla
Unused subs: Rice, Pike
Man of the Match: Patrick McNally
Referee: Peter McGrath
Larne travel to Shamrock Park to take on Portadown on Saturday 10 November. Kick off at Shamrock Park is at 3pm.