Points are shared after Inver stalemate with Cliftonville

Mar 21, 2021 | Archive

It was a point apiece for Larne and Cliftonville after neither side could find a breakthrough at Inver Park on Saturday.

The home side will be the more disappointed with the result, having had the bulk of possession and chances – particularly in the first half – but failed to turn it into a goal which would have broken the deadlock.

The game burst into life with 10 minutes on the clock, when both sides had a great opportunity apiece to open the scoring within a minute of each other.

The first chance of the day fell to the home side, with wing back Graham Kelly somehow failing to convert Tomas Cosgrove’s right wing cross from inside the six yard box.

Just 60 seconds later, at the other end Cliftonville skipper Chris Curran led a breakaway on the left flank and his cross was swept on to the crossbar by Ryan Curran’s first time effort.

Cliftonville defender Ryan O’Reilly then headed wide at the back post from a Ronan Hale cross midway through the first half, but it was Larne who looked most likely to make the breakthrough.

McCarey was again the man to deny the hosts and he made his most impressive save on 32 minutes.

This time Donnelly found a yard of space just outside the box and he let go with a shot which looked to be arrowing into the top left corner, only for McCarey to reach it at full stretch and turn behind for a corner.

John Herron and Donnelly both went close before the break.

The best chance of the second came on the hour mark when Davy McDaid saw his goalbound shot blocked by O’Reilly, after McCarey had palmed Kelly’s cross into his path.

In a game played in a good spirit between the sides there was a rare flare-up when Larne midfielder Andy Mitchell slid off the pitch following a tackle. An altercation ensued, with Cliftonville sub goalkeeper Declan Dunne receiving a red card.

The result means that Larne remain in third place, although have fallen two points further behind Coleraine, who are a place ahead of them.

Larne: Devlin, Kelly, Watson, Robinson, Herron, Hale (’82 McMurray), Donnelly, Lynch (56’ McDaid), A Mitchell, Cosgrove, Hughes

Unused subs: C Mitchell, Randall, McKendry, Wade Slater, Jarvis

Cliftonville: McCarey, O’Reilly, Harney, C Curran  (’65 O’Neill) O’Connor (’73 Kearns), R Curran, Donnelly, Bagnall, Doherty, Hale, Lowe

Unused subs: Dunne, McCrudden, Foster, Casey, Coffey

Referee: Ian McNabb

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