Honours even as Larne and Cliftonville share the spoils

Larne and Cliftonville had to settle for a share of the spoils after a 1-1 draw at Inver Park.

By Steven Crawford
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 10:14 pm

The hosts had the better of the early exchanges but found themselves a goal behind midway through the first half after Levi Ives curled home an excellent free kick.

Tiernan Lynch’s men continued to dominate possession and drew level at the start of the second half thanks to Ronan Hale’s second league goal of the season.

It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the game with neither side really doing enough to take all three points.

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Fuad Sule and Paul O'Neill battle for the ball

A minute’s applause took place before the game in honour of former Larne board member and groundsman Alan Girvin.

It was the hosts who threatened first through the unlikely source of wingback Graham Kelly.

Twice in quick succession he got on the end of crosses from Tomas Cosgrove.

His first effort was scrambled off the line before he headed over from close range minutes later.

It was the visitors though who broke the deadlock on 25 minutes, and what a strike it was.

Ives was 25 yards out from goal, but he gave Michael Argyrides no chance with his curling free kick.

The hosts had an opportunity to draw themselves level straight away, but Kofi Balmer headed over Mark Randall’s corner.

Larne were dominating possession and carved out another chance for Kelly, but he shot straight at Luke McNicholas before the break.

The hosts came out with a renewed purpose for the second half and were level seven minutes after the restart as Hale fired in a superb strike after great work by Fuad Sule.

Kris Lowe opened up the home defence on 77 minutes with a mazy run into the box. He got his shot away but it deflected for a corner to the Reds.

There was a late shout for a penalty for Paddy McLaughlin’s men as substitute Paul O’Neill raced on to a long ball.

He went down under a challenge from Balmer, but referee Andrew Davey was unmoved.