Photo: Andrew Scullion
Tiernan Lynch’s men booked their place in the Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup semi-finals after a hard fought 2-1 win at home to Carrick Rangers.
Kurtis Forsythe headed into his own goal and Ronan Hale added his 16th goal of the season to give Larne a comfortable advantage at the break. However, Jordan Gibson brought Carrick back into the contest just before the hour mark to set up a nervous finish.
The Inverman saw it out for victory however, setting up a semi-final encounter against Crusaders on Tuesday1 18th May, with a 4pm kick-off at Mourneview Park.
Larne started off this one in bright fashion, however their only real chance in the opening exchanges came when Marty Donnelly fashioned a chance for Ronan Hale on eight minutes.
In space on the right flank, Donnelly drifted the ball over the Carrick defence for Hale but, from a tight angle on the left young defender Kurtis Forsythe did well to get back and block for a corner.
The youngster was less fortunate for the game’s opening goal on 22 minutes.
Once again Donnelly was the architect on the right flank, this time drifting inside to deliver an inviting cross met by Forsythe 10 yards out, and he inadvertently planted a header into the bottom right corner past his own goalkeeper Aaron Hogg.
Larne doubled their advantage eight minutes later, this time with a well worked goal.
Skipper Jeff Hughes stepped out of the defence with the ball and threaded a superb ball, which carved the right side of Carrick’s defence open, which found Marty Donnelly.
His first-time cross was swept home by Ronan Hale, on the half volley, from six yards out.
The home side were forced into the a change their goalkeeper just before half-time, when Conor Mitchell replaced Conor Devlin, after the former Cliftonville man went down injured after collecting a corner.
The home side had a great chance to kill the contest on 56 minutes, when Lee Lynch broke the offside trap to race clear of the Carrick defence but fired straight at the legs of Hogg.
Within two minutes it was game on. Kyle Cherry’s corner from the left wasn’t dealt with by Conor Mitchell, who punched it up in the air and Jordan Gibson was first to react by hooking the ball into an empty net.
The closest Carrick came to a leveller was in the final minute of normal time when full-back Reece Neale got behind the Larne rearguard, but the full-back fired well over the crossbar.
Larne: Devlin (C Mitchell ‘38), Watson, Herron, Hale, Donnelly (McMurray ’81), Lynch (Randall ’71), Donnelly, A Mitchell, Mottley-Henry, Cosgrove, Hughes, Jarvis
Unused Subs: Robinson, Sule, McDaid, Wade Slater
Carrick Rangers: Hogg, Forsythe, Neale, Loughran, Chapman, Smith (’81 Jenkins), Gordon, Cherry (81’ McMullan), Glendinning, Gibson (81’ Cathair Friel), Anderson
Unused Subs: Connor Friel, Millar, Kalla, Ramsey
Referee: Tim Marshall