Report by Peter Wilson
Photo: Sam Johnston
Larne won the second of their pre-season training matches as they saw off H&W Welders 3-0 at Inver Park. Mark Randall scored a brace and John Herron got the other, with all the goals coming in the opening half hour.
The Invermen have now scored 15 goals in just two pre-season games, without conceding any.
Larne began brightly and after a good period of play in the first five minutes, Marty Donnelly crossed the first corner in from the right. Albert Watson got on the end of it, but couldn’t connect and the ball went behind for a goalkick.
It took another six minutes for the first of three goals to come when Ronan Hale played the ball to John Herron who flicked it into Donnelly. The midfielder had a stab at goal but it was saved superbly by the visiting ‘keeper. Mark Randall then easily headed into an open net for the opening goal.
Only a minute later, it was 2-0 as Larne pressed high and won the ball back in a dangerous area, with Herron slotting in off the left post.
The visitors’ first opportunity came just after a quarter of an hour when Welders midfielder tried from range but Conor Devlin comfortably gathered.
On 23 minutes, there was good work from Jeff Hughes as he played out from the back resulting in a chance for Hale but his fierce shot was well held by the goalkeeper.
Randall then had a go on 27 minutes but his bending shot dipped just over the bar. Just one minute later, Hale thrashed an effort off the crossbar.
Bang on the half hour mark, Ben Tilney floated in a lovely ball from the left channel but Donnelly headed just wide.
A minute after that, Cosgrove played a nice ball in to Randall at the near post. The ex-Arsenal man only had to tap in for his second of the day, to make it 3-0.
With 40 minutes gone, Randall could have scored a hat-trick, after being put in by Donnelly, but the keeper saved well down to his left.
On 54, Mark Randall’s 30-yard free-kick was tipped over by the Welders stopper.
Just after the hour, Lee Lynch played a one-two with Cosgrove. The winger crossed in from the right but the visiting defender nearly headed into the back of the net as he cleared.
After 68 minutes, Randall whipped the ball into Lynch who got in behind the backline but the ‘keeper was quickly off his line to punch it away.
With five minutes remaining, Andy Scott cut in from the left hand side and curled a lovely shot low towards the bottom right but the Welders stopper got down to save.
Starting XI: Devlin, Watson, Herron, Sule, Randall, Hale, Donnelly, Tilney, Cosgrove, Hughes (c)
Subs: C Mitchell, Kelly, McDaid, Scott, Lynch, A Mitchell, Trialist
Referee: Jamie Robinson
Larne are back in action next week on Saturday 5 September at home to Warrenpoint Town. Kick off is 3pm.