Late McMurray goal earns win over Glens

Jan 26, 2020 | Archive

Peter Wilson reports from Inver Park

Larne earned their first win over Glentoran this season in front of a full house at Inver Park to end the visitors’ 15-game unbeaten run.

Early in the second period, Paul O’Neill gave the Glens the lead before Lee Lynch equalised just six minutes later.

Johnny McMurray won it for Larne right at the end to seal all three points for the Invermen. 

Larne began the match brightly and, on five minutes, Lee Lynch received the ball over the top from Marty Donnelly, but his effort from an acute angle to the right drifted just over the bar.

Larne though they had opened the scoring after nine minutes when Johnny McMurray turned inside the box but he fired into the side-netting. 

Six minutes later, the Glens thought they had taken the lead themselves when Paddy McClean nodded in at the back post from Hrvoje Plum’s inswinging free-kick, but the flag was raised for offside.

Mark Randall had two great chances in the space of three first half minutes; first his close range header from a Donnelly corner on 21 minutes was superbly saved by Marijan Antolovic before the ball was scrambled away. Three minutes later, another header into the ground was comfortably held by Antolovic.

Just after half an hour, Andrew Mitchell whipped in a wonderful free-kick from the home side but McMurray glanced his header just wide of the mark. 

Five minutes before the break, Randall’s rasping effort from 25 yards out skimmed over the crossbar. 

It took the visitors who took the lead, just six minutes into the second half, when Caolan Marron’s cross from the right was diverted in by Paul O’Neill from close range. 

It took the Invermen just five minutes to restore parity though when McMurray broke down field, from a Glentoran corner, and laid off to Lynch who calmly converted beyond Antolovic.

Larne snatched the win in the first minute of stoppage time as when Tomas Cosgrove whipped in a cross from the left.

Antolovic to punch the ball clear, but it deflected off McMurray’s face and went in. In the process, the striker was badly injured and later stretchered off.

The game ran on well beyond the five minutes of stoppage time after the injury, but despite the tense finish, it was the Invermen who earned a well deserved victory – their first success over Glentoran in 33 years.

Larne: Devlin, Flowers, Watson, Sule, Randall (McDaid 70), Donnelly, Lynch, A Mitchell (Hughes 89), Cosgrove, Jarvis, McMurray (Kelly 94)

Unused Subs: C Mitchell, Ramsey, Tilney, Gilmour

Glentoran: Antolovic, Garrett (Cowan 24), Kane, Peers, Gallagher, McClean, Nasseri, O’Neill (Overbeek 65), Plum (O’Connor 74), Mitchell, Marron

Unused Subs: Morris, Frazer, Pepper, Crowe

Referee: Steven Gregg

Man of the Match: Fuad Sule

It’s a quick turnaround for Larne as they first face Linfield at home on Tuesday 28 January. Kick off at Inver Park is 7.45 pm. On Saturday 1 February, the Invermen travel to face Ballyclare Comrades in the Irish Cup Sixth Round. Kick off at Dixon Park is 3pm. 

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