Photo: Andy Scullion
Larne grabbed their first victory of 2021 with an impressive performance in a 4-1 win away to Glenavon.
Lee Lynch’s eye-catching first half goal was cancelled out within five minutes by Michael O’Connor’s penalty, but the Invermen found another gear in the second half to clinch victory thanks to goals from Jeff Hughes, Ronan Hale and Andy Mitchell.
Tiernan Lynch made four changes to his starting XI after Friday’s 1-1 draw at home to Glentoran and it was of the players who came in, in the form of Davy McDaid, who went close twice in the early exchanges.
Before a minute was on the clock he almost fired the visitors in the lead after rounding goalkeeper Craig Hyland, but defender Andrew Doyle cleared the danger.
Soon after McDaid threatened again, but this time his curling effort was tipped around the post by Hyland.
Larne did take the lead on 21 minutes and it was a goal worth waiting for. Lee Lynch picked the ball up from Ronan Hale, 25 yards out, and unleashed a fantastic effort which flew into the top left corner.
The home side were level five minutes later when Conor McCloskey’s left wing cross struck Albert Watson on the arm. Former Northern Ireland midfielder Michael O’Connor slotted home the resulting penalty.
The Invermen came out firing at the start of the second half and Mark Randall’s free-kick from the left flank was met by the head of Jeff Hughes and his effort looped over Hyland and into the net.
Randall was on hand to provide another assist on the hour mark and his slide rule pass found a clever run from Ronan Hale and the forward did the rest by sliding the ball under the onrushing Hyland.
McDaid came close to adding his name to the scoresheet on two occasions, shooting narrowly wide of the right hand post and lobbing an effort wide of the opposite piece of workwork.
The points were wrapped up eight minutes from time when Hale’s progress in the box was halted by Doyle, with Andy Mitchell stepping up to slam home the penalty kick to make it a good night’s work for Larne.
Glenavon: Hyland, Doyle, Purkis (Harmon), Campbell, Snoddy, O’Connor (McCaffrey), Fitzpatrick, McCloskey (O’Mahony), Singleton, Garrett, Ward
Unused Subs: James Taylor, Robbie Norton, McNulty, Rea
Larne: Conor Devlin, Kelly, Watson, Sule, Randall, Hale, McDaid (McMurray), Lynch, Cosgrove (A Mitchell), Hughes (McKendry),Jarvis
Unused subs: Martin Donnelly, Mottley-Henry, C Mitchell, Wade Slater
Referee: Ross Dunlop