Invermen come from behind for Christmas derby points

Dec 29, 2021 | Archive

Larne came from a goal down to claim three points in the Christmas Derby away to Carrick Rangers.

A depleted Larne side, missing seven regulars, fell behind to a David Cushley penalty but hit back before half-time with goals from Tomas Cosgrove and Ronan Hale.

Davy McDaid’s late goal sealed the points, as Larne moved into fourth place in the Danske Bank Premiership

Carrick were the better side in the opening period of the game as they looked to impose themselves on their visitors, and end their own five-game losing streak.

However, it took them until 14 minutes to fashion the first real opportunity of the day, which fell the way of former Crusaders attacker Cushley.

With the ball hanging in the air Cushley hooked a volley goalwards, which was narrowly deflected over for a corner.

Stuart Nixon’s long throw-ins were another threat for the home side. However, it was pace of the ex-Coleraine winger which led to the opening goal on 32 minutes.

Nixon got in behind the Larne rearguard and went down under a challenge from Graham Kelly. Referee Jamie Robinson delayed before eventually pointing to the spot.

David Cushley stepped up to confidently slot into the bottom left corner for the opening goal.

The goal sparked Larne into life and they began to take the game to the home side and they were level six minutes later through a set piece of their own.

Ben Doherty’s corner on the right found Tomas Cosgrove and the man with the captain’s armband for the head nodded home unmarked at the back post.

As the game began to liven up, Ronan Hale had a penalty appeal turned down at one end and Stuart Nixon fired wide at the other, within a minute of each other.

Larne went into the half-time with the lead however, after scoring two minutes into stoppage time.

From a Carrick corner the Invermen broke quickly, with John Herron finding Ronan Hale just inside the opposition’s half. Hale broke with pace, evading two Carrick defenders and it opened up the opportunity for him to shoot which he duly did, slotting home via the bottom left-hand post from 20 yards.

Albert Watson had to be withdrawn for Larne at half-time, meaning Larne played the second 45 with a mix of full-backs and rookie defender Nick Aretzis.

Carrick went direct in the second half in a bid to unsettle the makeshift Larne defence.

However, it was the Invermen who looked more dangerous as the half wore on. 

With 10 minutes on the clock Davy McDaid turned sharply inside the box, but his fierce drive was well tipped over by Matthew Skeet.

Three minutes later, strike partner Ronan Hale found space inside the box but his shot was deflected for a corner.

Larne wrapped up the points with five minutes remaining. Ben Doherty led the Larne break, with Carrick piling men forward, racing the length of the Carrick half before unselfishly squaring for Davy McDaid to tap home and make the points safe at 3-1.

Carrick Rangers: Skeet, Forsythe, Surgenor, Ervin, Cushley, McGuckin (’67 Gibson), G Kelly, Cherry, Nixon (’73 E Kelly), Tilney, Anderson

Unused subs: Hogg, Gordon, Kalla, Hoy, Quinn

Larne: Ferguson, Kelly, Watson (’46 Scott), Herron, Hale, McDaid, Doherty, Lynch (’81 Nasseri), Mitchell, Cosgrove Aretzis

Unused subs: Argyrides, Lusty, Greer, Sloan, Curran

Referee: Jamie Robinson 

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