Another late equaliser denies Larne home victory

Mar 9, 2022 | Archive

For the second midweek in a row Larne conceded a goal deep into stoppage time as the Invermen had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Glenavon.

The home side opened the scoring after just three minutes thanks to Lee Bonis, but were undone as Matthew Fitzpatrick levelled with the last touch of the game.

Larne led the game for a full 90 minutes after Lee Bonis struck early for the home side. They also missed two guilt-edge chances in stoppage time before Glenavon earned a share of the spoils with the final act of the game.

The result sees Larne’s indifferent home form continue, while Glenavon moved to within a point of 7th place, and a European play-off place which comes with it.

Larne came into the game off the back of a disappointing Irish Cup exit on Saturday, losing on penalties to Ballymena United.

Boss Tiernan Lynch didn’t mince his words after that defeat and made four changes to his starting XI.

It was one of those, in the form of full-back Graham Kelly, who had a big hand in the opening goal with less than three minutes on the clock.

The ball found Kelly on the right side of the box and his left-footed shot deflected into the path of Lee Bonis who made no mistake, finding the bottom corner from six yards out.

It was an eighth goal in just 13 appearances for Bonis, since his big money move from Portadown in January.

Larne should have doubled their lead on the half hour mark. John Herron surged into the box and chipped the ball to Lee Lynch at the back post but James Taylor made himself big to deny the midfielder from point blank range.

Glenavon began to push further forward in the second half and should really have been level on the hour mark.

Former Northern Ireland midfielder Michael O’Connor swung in a dangerous corner from the left, which Callum Birney steered just the side of the back post.

As the game became stretched, chances began to arrive at both ends and Lee Bonis came close to doubling his tally for the evening.

Good work from Navid Nasseri saw him skip past Danny Wallace on the right flank and he stood up a cross for Bonis, but he could only steer his header over when well placed 10 yards out.

In truth neither side were playing at their fluent best but with just one goal in it, Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton sent attacking players into the fray in search of an equaliser.

It was Larne, however, who should have extended their lead as the game ticked into injury time.

Lee Bonis lead a break down the left flank and he floated a cross to the back post where John Herron could only steer it at Taylor.

They went even closer a minute later when Ben Doherty led the breakaway on the left flank but could only crash his shot against the base of the post.

This allowed Glenavon to hang in the game and they rescued a point with the last touch of the ball. Keeping alive a corner Matthew Fitzpatrick steered home a head at the back post with referee Christopher Morrison blowing for full-time straight afterwards.

Larne: Devlin, Balmer, Kelly, Sule, Herron, Nasseri (’73 Scott), Hale (’73 Randall), Lynch (’73 Doherty), Bolger, Bonis, Hughes

Unused subs: Ferguson, Watson, Mitchell, Curran

Glenavon: Taylor, Birney, Haughey, A Doyle (’76 J Doyle), Waterworth (’73 O’Mahony), O’Connor (’85 Hall), Campbell, McCloskey, Fitzpatrick, Wallace, Singleton

Unused subs: Scannell, Lynch, Norton, Prendergast

Referee: Christopher Morrison

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