Belfast Telegraph

Scott Irvine is honoured, but Larne lose to Carrick Rangers

Larne 1 - 2 Carrick Rangers

By Ian Cahoon

Carrick Rangers sealed their progress into the last 16 of the Irish Cup with a 2-1 win over Larne in front of a bumper crowd at Inver Park.

The match was rescheduled after the original tie was abandoned due to a serious head injury sustained by Scott Irvine and the announcement from both clubs that the gate receipts would be given to the injured midfielder drew a sizeable crowd from the local football community, much higher than that which attend the original tie.

There was also applause in support of the midfielder in the seventh minute, Irvine's squad number, with both benches also joining in.

A number of local clubs either cancelled or moved their training session to allow players to attend and many local amateur league sides were represented.

The heavy surface didn't make for a free-flowing contest, but it was Carrick who adapted better to the soggy pitch.

After having a Ben Roy header cleared off the line Carrick took a lead into half-time, courtesy of a Miguel Chines penalty, seven minutes before the break.

Stuart Scott brought down Aidan Watson inside the box and referee Keith Kennedy pointed to the spot.

Despite John Connolly's best efforts Chines managed to squeeze the ball home into the bottom right corner of the goal.

Larne were brighter in the second half and Carrick goalkeeper Brian Neeson had to be at his best to deny Gerald Gillan and Stuart King in quick succession.

Watson almost doubled Carricks's advantage minute later, but Michael McClean got back in time to clear off the line.

The match was level on 64 minuets as James McCabe scrambled home from close range.

King's corner from the right wasn't properly cleared and McCabe converted from close range.

Few clear cut chances followed, but Carrick sealed their progress 16 minutes from time.

Ryan Kane, not long on as a substitute, delivered a corner from the right and McCloskey was on hand to head into the top corner from eight yards.

Despite Larne pushing for an equaliser Carrick held on to book a home clash with Institute in the next round.

Larne: Connolly, Scott (Todd), Smith, McClean, Reynolds (Robinson), McClean, E Gillan, G Gillan, King, Murray, McCabe. Subs not used: C Gillan, Stitt.

Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Smyth, Traynor (Lynch), Donaghy, Kelly, Taggart, Harmon, Watson (Kane), Chines, Roy, McCloskey (Lagan). Subs not used: Arthur, McKenna.

Man of the match: Harmon (Carrick).

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn).

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