Marty Donnelly celebrates scoring Larne's winner (Picture: Larne FC)
Saturday, 18 August 2018
Larne earned a well deserved victory against Ballinamallard United, with Martin Donnelly's goal enough to give the home side the win.
The Inver Men threatened early on with Donnelly crossing in from the left towards Tomas Cosgrove on 11 minutes, but Cosgrove wasn’t able to connect his head to the ball to steer the ball goal-wards.
Just over a quarter of an hour in, after an excellent passing movement between Ben Tilney and Darren Stuart, Stuart squandered his chance by putting the ball wide, from just inside the box.
Shortly before half an hour, following a corner, Ryan Campbell crossed in from the right side of the area into Jason McCartney with the United captain amazingly sending the ball wide at a virtually open net.
With 30 minutes gone, Jeff Hughes sent Donnelly through for a one on one with John Connolly with the Ballinamallard goalkeeper coming out on top by making himself big.
Larne began the second half brightly, and came within a whisker of taking the lead when Hughes went narrowly wide.
On 60 minutes, the home side broke the deadlock when Donnelly’s sweet strike into the bottom right corner gave Connolly little chance.
Within three minutes the visitors could have been level, however McCartney forced Conor Devlin to produce a superb save to keep him out, from just inside the box.
Within the remaining 20 minutes, Tilney’s long-range effort from 25 yards was tipped over the goal by Connolly whilst Andrew Osei-Bonsu’s attempt on goal just skimmed the crossbar on its way over.
Ballinamallard tried to find a way back into the game in the last 15 minutes but were ultimately unable to penetrate the solid back four of the home side.
Larne: Devlin, Ramsey, McEleney, Kelly, Donnelly, Stuart, Tilney, Osei-Bonsu, Gilmour, Cosgrove, Hughes subs Finnegan (not used), Scullion (replaced Gilmour 58), Dougherty (not used), Hassin (replaced Osei-Bonsu 83), McNally (not used)
Ballinamallard United: Connolly, Teague, Taheny, Smyth, Arkinson, Campbell, McCartney, Edgar, Cashel, McCann, McEvoy subs Kelly (replaced Arkinson 77), Harney (not used), McIlwaine (not used), Elliott (replaced Teague 22), Robb (replaced McCartney 83)
Referee: Evan Boyce