Match Details
Season :
2020/2021
Date :
11th December 2020
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Inver Park
Referee :
Ian McNabb
Linfield Scorer :
Shayne Lavery 16'
Larne Scorers :
Graham Kelly 58', Martin Donnelly 72', David McDaid 88'
Linfield Yellow Card :
Lavery
Larne Yellow Cards :
Herron, Hughes
Teams
Linfield Team :
David Walsh (GK), Mark Haughey, Jimmy Callacher, Mark Stafford, Matthew Clarke (Brandon Doyle 78’), Niall Quinn, Kyle McClean (Bastien Hery 78’), Jamie Mulgrew (C), Kirk Millar, Jordan Stewart (Andy Waterworth 68’), Shayne Lavery
Linfield Subs not used :
Ross Larkin, Ryan McGivern, Daniel Kearns, Matthew Shevlin
Larne Team :
Conor Devlin (GK), Tomas Cosgrove, Albert Watson, Josh Robinson, Graham Kelly, Faud Sule, Jeff Hughes (GK), John Herron, Martin Donnelly, Ronan Hale, David McDaid
Report
Larne extended their lead at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership to four points with victory over Linfield at Inver Park tonight. The Blues will be disappointed that the man who made the difference wasn’t sent off very early on in the game.

Linfield were lucky early on not to lose Jamie Mulgrew, not just for tonight’s game but for quite a long time. The Linfield captain was on the end of a horror challenge from Larne striker David McDaid. The Larne man was extremely fortunate not to receive a red card and somehow, Jamie Mulgrew was fortunately able to play on. McDaid escaped without a booking, but from a Linfield point of view, it was a relief that a nasty and lengthy injury wasn’t sustained.

The Blues took the lead on 16 minutes and a fine goal it was too. It was a sharp move through the thirds before Niall Quinn in midfield slipped through an inch-perfect through ball for Shayne Lavery who beat Josh Robinson for pace before firing an absolute rocket of a strike into the top corner from just inside the box.

Larne had a few first half opportunities. Early in the game, Ronan Hale curled a smart first-time effort at goal which flew just over the bar, and soon after the striker latched onto a loose ball to gain an opportunity to run at Mark Stafford who was the last Linfield man back, but the big defender did well to stop him. Hale also ghosted into the back post to get on the end of a cross which found him with a degree of fortune but he couldn’t sort his feet out and it was a golden chance wasted. Martin Donnelly also fired a free-kick just over from 25 yards for Tiernan Lynch’s men.

Linfield almost doubled their lead with another nice breakaway move. Kyle McClean found Shayne Lavery with a great pass over the top of the Larne backline and Lavery drifted in from the right before intelligently slipping it across to Matthew Clarke who fired a low cross/shot flashing past the far post with no-one on hand to tap it in. Mark Stafford also nodded a header just over the bar from Niall Quinn’s corner.

Half Time: Larne 0 – 1 Linfield

The Blues were looking determined and well organised, and David Healy would have been pleased with the first half, but the game changed in the second half. Jeff Hughes went close for Larne with a low driven shot from 25 yards which David Walsh produced a good save to, getting down low to palm it away. And then Larne’s equaliser arrived on 58 minutes as left back Graham Kelly bombed forward before cutting inside and curling a shot into the far corner with his right foot.

Minutes before Larne’s equaliser, Larne midfielder John Herron grabbed Kyle McClean by the head and forced him to the ground in a similar incident to what Linfield’s Bastien Hery was sent off for away to Portadown a month ago, but Herron received yellow.

Larne should have taken the lead ten minutes later as David McDaid produced a high quality touch, turn and superb pass with the outside of his right foot to send Ronan Hale through on goal, but the former Crusaders striker blazed over the bar.

The hosts did take the lead shortly after that, though. From a Linfield point of view it’s a disappointing goal to concede, from their own corner. Larne goalkeeper Conor Devlin caught Quinn’s corner before kicking it long for David McDaid who teed the ball up for Martin Donnelly on the edge of the box and the playmaker’s low shot was deflected into the net to make it 2-1.

The Inver Reds added a third to seal victory on 88 minutes. David McDaid turned past Mark Stafford in the box and the defender was adjudged to have pulled the striker back. In truth it was a very soft penalty, however McDaid stepped up to convert from the spot despite the best efforts of David Walsh who got a foot to it.

Full Time: Larne 3 – 1 Linfield

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