News Story

Robinson goal clinches friendly win over Annagh

Report: Peter Wilson

Photograph: Bill Guiller

Larne had to work hard for their 1-0 win over newly promoted Championship outfit, Annagh United as a Josh Robinson goal midway through the second half was enough to give them the victory.

Academy hopeful, Matty Lusty also made his second appearance for Larne in pre-season.

The hosts started off brightly in the opening minutes and after some good build-up play, Ronan Hale almost gave the Invermen the lead with a stinging drive at close range but Eoin Hughes in the away goal pulled off a very good save to keep it scoreless.

On 14 minutes, after some nice work on the right channel, Tomas Cosgrove slipped it to Marty Donnelly who skirted around the Annagh defender before blazing over the bar.

With 22 minutes gone, Andy Scott got held up by traffic in the area with the ball coming to Jeff Hughes but his low shot curled just wide of the post.

Larne came close five minutes later when Jeff Hughes forced a good save from Hughes and from the corner that followed, Josh Robinson came close with a header just a whisker off target.

The away side, with their first chance of the game, went close on 28 minutes but Dermot McCaffrey headed wide when well placed.

Just before half an hour, the home side had another great chance. This time Cosgrove floated the ball in from the right to Hale, his volley only narrowly missing the goal.

With 36 minutes on the clock, Mark Randall’s drive from 26 yards took a deflection and skimmed just over the bar.

As Larne headed into the break after a frustrating half, it remained goalless.

As the second half got underway, Ben Tilney, Graham Kelly, Andy Mitchell and John Herron replaced Marty Donnelly, Albert Watson, Fuad Sule and Mark Randall.

Annagh started off firmly on the front foot after the break and had a great chance to edge in front but Ryan Coleman couldn’t guide the ball into the net past Conor Devlin from six yards out.

United had another chance to get ahead two minutes shy of the hour but Devlin made the save to keep it scoreless.

The away side then went on a good move downfield 23 minutes from time as Peter Duffin curled an effort from the edge of the box but Devlin held it well.

Finally, the deadlock was broken in the same minute when amid a crowd in the box after a Dean Jarvis cross, Josh Robinson prodded home for what would ultimately prove to be the winner.

On 70 minutes, Academy player, Matty Lusty came on for Scott, making his second appearance for the club in pre-season.

With six minutes left of normal time, Lusty would come agonisingly close to doubling Larne’s lead and getting his first goal for the club as he stabbed it at close range but Eoin Hughes did very well to keep the effort out with his left leg.

A minute later, Tomas Cosgrove had a go from 15 yards or so but his effort was tipped over the bar by the visiting keeper.

After a tough game against a well-organised Annagh side, Larne successfully ground out the win.

Larne: Devlin, Cosgrove, Jarvis, Watson (Kelly), Robinson, Sule (A. Mitchell) Lynch (Hughes) Randall (Herron) Donnelly (Tilney), Hale, Scott (Lusty)

Unused subs: Muir, Adair

Referee: Shane Andrews

Larne are away in their next pre-season encounter as they travel to face Knockbreda for the first time in more than two years on Saturday 26 September. Kick off at Breda Park is 2pm.

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