All 'Hale' Larne as they see off Aarhus to progress in Europe

Larne keep rewriting their European history books as they made it through to the third qualifying round of the Europa Conference League thanks to a superb performance in Aarhus.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 8:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th July 2021, 8:02 pm

Leading 2-1 from the first leg Tiernan Lynch's men knew if they avoided defeat in Denmark they would progress to met Portugal's Pacos de Ferreira.

And that's exactly what they did. The Inver Park outfit produced a professional performance especially after the hosts went down to ten men after Jon Thorsteinsson was sent off midway through the first half.

Right on half time substitute Ronan Hale produced an excellent finish as the visitors put one foot in the next round.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ronan Hale scored another crucial European goal for Larne

But with 18 minutes to go Patrick Olsen fired in from the spot after Josh Robinson was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball.

The hosts threw everything at Larne in the closing stages but they stood firm to deservedly progress to the next round

Unsurprisingly Lynch went with the same eleven which started last week's first leg.

The back three of Albert Watson, Cian Bolger and Jeff Hughes proved a tough nut to crack for their Danish opponents at Inver Park.

They were expecting a tougher night at Ceres Park though and goalkeeper Rohan Ferguson was called into action inside five minutes as he was forced to deal with Thorsteinsson's free-kick.

The hosts were playing a high line as they pushed for an equaliser, but it was a dangerous game with David McDaid looking to take advantage in behind.

With 17 minutes on the clock the striker broke away before feeding Lee Lynch, but his shot couldn't beat Hansen in the home goal.

At the other end headed wide at the back post after Munksgaard had picked him out.

Larne's hopes of progression were given a massive boost on 26 minutes as Thorsteinsson was dismissed.

The midfielder was shown a second yellow for simulation after going down in the box.

The visitors had their hearts in their mouths fearing a penalty may be awarded against them, but the referee punished the home player instead.

Aarhus were still proving to be a threat though as Ferguson was called into action again on the half hour this time to deny Kurminowski with Hughes there to mop up the danger as the ball came loose in front of goal.

Gift Links then tried his luck from the edge of the box as the game moved towards half time, but he failed to trouble Ferguson.

Before the break Cian Bolger got on the end of Mark Randall's corner again though it flew off target.

Right on the whistle Larne took a massive step towards the next round as substitute Ronan Hale extended their lead in the tie.

He had only come on for the injured Lee Lynch and showed great composure to slot past Hansen after terrific work by Randall.

Larne looked fairly comfortable for large parts of the second half but they were dealt a blow with 18 minutes to go as the hosts were awarded what looked a rather soft penalty.

Josh Robinson, who had only been on the pitch two minutes, was penalised for handball after the ball struck his hand from close range.

Patrick Olsen stepped up to level the game on the night and set up a tense finale.

And two minutes later Links forced Ferguson into a decent stop as Aarhus looked to get themselves back on level terms in the tie.

As the game moved towards the dying minutes Aarhus upped the pressure and had one late effort hacked off the line, but there was no denying Larne another famous European win.