Randall at the double as Larne win at Showgrounds

Oct 30, 2021 | Archive

Mark Randall’s first half brace sent Larne on their way to a comprehensive Danske Bank Premiership win at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

Navid Nasseri scored his second goal in as many matches just after the hour mark to wrap up the 3-0 victory, as Larne remain in 4th place.

It was the ideal start to the match for the Invermen as they took the lead with just 90 seconds on the clock. Tomas Cosgrove, on the right flank, found Ronan Hale in the centre of the pitch and his first time pass down the inside right found Mark Randall.

From here, the midfielder controlled well before slotting the ball past the onrushing Jordan Williamson.

Larne continued to push forward and Ronan Hale could have the brace in the 15 minutes which followed, but he was agonisingly close to connecting with Graham Kelly’s left wing cross, before Williamson denied him one-on-one from a Cosgrove pass.

At the other end, Ryan Waide and Conor Keeley went close for the home side.

Hale was denied again by Williamson, before Larne doubled their lead on 36 minutes.

Despite vehement protests of handball inside the Larne box the visitors broke quickly up field after a clearance by Kofi Balmer.

Mark Randall showed great close control to break through the midfield before sliding the ball out to Hale on the right. From here, the striker produced the ideal pass to slide the ball into the box for Randall to slot home at the back post.

Ballymena came close to reducing the arrears on the hour mark but Stephen McCullough, who had picked up the loose ball in behind the Larne rearguard, stabbed it just wide from inside the box.

Larne were to wrap up the points four minutes later. The Invermen burst forward on the right flank through John Herron, who surged ahead of Davy McDaid as the striker looked to be in an offside position. He pulled the ball back for former Glentoran team-mate Navid Nasseri to slot into the back of the net from 10 yards out.

Conor Keeley then headed against the post for Ballymena, before Larne came close to extending their lead at the other end.

Firstly Navid Nasseri had the ball in the net, from a Davy McDaid knock-on, but the flag was raised for offside.

In stoppage time substitute McDaid rounded Jordan Williamson and shot towards goal, but the officials said the ball hadn’t crossed the line as Larne ran out 3-0 winners.

Ballymena United: Williamson, Redman, Wilson, Winchester, Waide, McCullough, Kane, McGrory, Loughran, Keeley, Millar subs Johnston, Chapman, McKeown, McElroy, Henderson, Barr, Beattie

Larne: Ferguson, Balmer, Kelly, Sule, Herron, Nasseri, Randall, Hale, Doherty, Cosgrove, Hughes subs Argyrides, Watson, McDaid, Oluwa, Scott, Lynch

Referee: Steven Gregg

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