News Story

Late Waterworth leveller denies Larne all three points

An Andy Waterworth goal five minutes from time earned Linfield a share of the spoils in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Inver Park.

The Invermen were impressive for large spells of the contest against the league leaders, taking the lead on 30 minutes through Ronan Hale.

However, both sides had to settle for a point apiece as David Healy’s men pushed for a late equaliser.

Larne started with confidence, coming into the game off the back of two victories, and could have been ahead with just 30 seconds on the clock.

Marty Donnelly lofted the ball in behind the Linfield defence, but Hale failed to get enough power to beat Johns.

However, it was the same combination who ensured Larne went ahead on 30 minutes.

This time Donnelly picked the ball up in a deeper position in midfield, before sidestepping two Linfield players.

He then threaded a low pass between the Linfield defence allowing a Hale a clear run on goal and this time the striker finished low past Johns.

Lee Lynch almost doubled Larne’s lead seven minutes into the second half as Larne counter attacked, but his shot was too wide in the end to trouble Chris Johns.

Linfield boss Healy went in search of an equaliser and introduced Joel Cooper, Andy Waterworth and Christy Manzinga from the bench as the second half wore on.

It was to prove to a masterstroke as they drew level on 85 minutes.

Chris Johns lofted a free-kick on the halfway line into the box, which was only clear as far as Ross Larkin on the right.

His dangerous cross was then headed home by Waterworth, lurking on the edge of the six yard box.

From here, Larne almost won it. Tomas Cosgrove pulled the ball back to the edge of the area where Sule let fly on what looked like a goalbound effort, only for Johns to claw it over the crossbar.

Larne: Devlin, Robinson, Herron, Sule, Hale (’68 McDaid), Donnelly, Lynch (’68 Wade Slater), A Mitchell, Cosgrove, Hughes, Jarvis

Unused subs: C Mitchell, Randall, Scott, McKendry, Mottley-Henry

Linfield: Johns, Larkin, Haughey, Callacher, Stewart (’77 Waterworth), Millar 7 (’77 Manzinga), Lavery, Nasseri (’65 Cooper) Clarke, Fallon, Palmer

Unused subs: Moore, Stafford, Newberry, Pepper

Referee: Tim Marshall

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