Report: Peter Wilson
Photo: Bill Guiller
Larne fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat against Coleraine in their first pre-season friendly at Inver Park on Tuesday.
Curtis Allen gave the away side the lead late in the first half but Davy McDaid responded for Larne within five minutes. Eoin Bradley restored Coleraine’s lead just after the hour, while new signings Rohan Ferguson, Kofi Balmer and Michael Argyrides made their debuts for Larne.
It was a quiet opening quarter of an hour or so with neither side having many good chances.
Conor McKendry fired just wide of the left post from 20 yards after 18 minutes.
After a good build-up from the Invermen, Tomas Cosgrove’s effort from distance was palmed away by Martin Gallagher on 24.
The game began to pick up after the half hour mark. On 36, Davy McDaid threaded the ball through to McKendry but Gallagher did well to smother the ball to keep it out.
A minute later, Kofi Balmer could only head straight at the keeper from Mark Randall’s corner.
Only seconds after that, Coleraine went up the other end and opened the scoring; Curtis Allen’s shot from 22 yards flew past Rohan Ferguson to nestle in the top corner.
The hosts were level within five minutes with Randall floating in a free kick on the edge of the area from the left and McDaid scooping the ball in with his head, leaving Martin Gallagher stranded.
Half-time: Larne 1 Coleraine 1
The Bannsiders restored their lead 17 minutes into the second half with Eoin Bradley slotting in at the back post.
Larne came close to equalising just a minute later with Gallagher pushing John Herron’s header onto the crossbar. Matty Lusty tried to find space to get a follow-up shot away but he was shut down by Coleraine’s defenders.
With five minutes left of normal time, Max Greer flashed a ball across the face of goal from the right hand side but neither Lusty nor Ronan Hale could get on the end of it.
Full-time: Larne 1 Coleraine 2
Larne: Ferguson, Cosgrove, Balmer, Jarvis, Mitchell, Randall, Lynch, Scott, McKendry, McDaid
Subs: Argyrides, Kelly, Hughes, Watson, Greer, Sule, Herron, Trialist A, Lusty, Hale, Trialist B
Coleraine: Gallagher, Kane, Mullan, Brown, Doherty, Lowry, McLaughlin, Glackin, Traynor, Allen
Subs: Jarvis, Bradley, Wilson, Parkhill, Kelly, Friel
Larne are in action on Saturday 3 July in a pre-season friendly against Scottish Championship side Kilmarnock. Kick off at Inver Park is 3pm.