Larne defeated Dergview 2-0 at a rain soaked Inver Park with the victory enough to send the Inver Reds four points clear at the top of the table.

However, in a potential blow to the Invermen, Thomas Stewart was carried off the pitch on a stretcher, fresh from scoring the home side’s opening goal earlier in the first half.

Former Linfield forward Stewart went close to breaking the deadlock twice inside the opening minutes, firstly firing wide of the base of the post and then with a headed effort over the bar, as Martin Donnelly swung the ball in from a corner.

With 24 minutes gone, Jeff Hughes passed into Ben Tilney with the Englishman’s low shot from outside the box parried behind by Alan Buchanan.

However, Larne did have the lead a minute later. A neat through ball from Donnelly on 25 minutes allowed Stewart to turn inside the defender and slide the ball into the net, with a powerful low shot.

Five minutes from the break, Dergview’s Paul Smith fired straight at goal from 40 yards out with Conor Devlin extending his left arm to make the save.

On the stroke of half time, after Donnelly’s free-kick in from the left of the area, David McDaid, on as a sub for Stewart, headed just wide.

Shortly after the hour mark, from Donnelly’s corner, Jeff Hughes doubled the advantage for Tiernan Lynch’s side.

On 70, Matthew Kirk struck well to force Devlin into making a good save whilst Smith’s free kick drifted over the bar as the clock ran into over time, with Larne holding on for the three points, extending their unbeaten league start to 10 matches.

Larne: Devlin (c), Sule, McEleney, Kelly, Stewart (McDaid), Donnelly (Hassin), Stuart (Scullion), Tilney, McNally, Cosgrove, Hughes

Unused subs: M Dougherty, Finnegan.

Dergview: G. Buchanan, M. Buchanan, Falconer, McNulty,  A. Buchanan, Burns (c), Callaghan, Kirk, A Dougherty, Smith, Sproule

Subs: Crawford, Doherty, Hargan, S. Dougherty, Wallace

Referee: Gareth Stewart

Attendance: 796

Man of the match: Fuad Sale

Larne are next in action on Wednesday 17 October against a Rangers XI, with a limited amount of tickets left at Inver Park shop, kick-off is 7.30pm. Three days later, it’s yet another East Antrim derby with Carrick Rangers making the short trip to Inver Park. Kick-off is 3pm.

This week the club agreed to support local primary schools football more than ever, by agreeing to host all of this seasons outdoor competitions at the superb Inver Park.
Primary School Football Secretary Andrew Ritchie said “The Cliff have been superb supporters of schools football for the last 8 years, and we must thank them for that.  However we are excited to base ourselves at Inver Park for this season and beyond.”
The stadium will offer a great surface for the players, and be able to facilitate parents from a suitable distance of the playing area.
I’m addition, a number of first team players will go out to schools in the build up to each tournament and help to prepare teams by providing some cusching before accompanying their school on the day.
Youth Development Director Niall Curneen added “its an exciting time for local kids who ate falling in love with Larne FC, and this is another opportunity to open the club up to more local kids.  We are passionate to inspire kids at all levels, to become a player, a supporter, or both.  It also gives our senior players the chance to get out and give a bit back to the kids who idolise them and who come out in their numbers to get behind them.  This whole journey works two ways, and this demonstrates that the club are committed to do their bit towards that.”
This programme also provides Larne High School pupils with an opportunity to sharpen their coaching skills through the Upskilling Programme currently being delivered in the school by BCSDN.   Gary Haveron of BCSDN and Larne Youth added “the programme provides local kids with a number of coaching qualifications and other generic qualifications to improve their employability.  This programme gives them hands on experience with organising and delivering quality sports programmes.  It will also help to encourage these kids to become involved in our club in the future and create the academy set up we crave.”
The competitions kick off in November and run right through to June 2019.   Our social media channels will keep you updated with all the games when they happen.
#Aspire2Inspire #RAWA

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