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Lynch insists job isn't done yet as Larne take slender advantage into second leg against Bala Town

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Larne players applaud the supporters after winning the club’s first European tie - a 1-0 first leg victory at Bala Town with David McDaid on the scoresheet. Credit: Zac Goodwin/PA

Larne players applaud the supporters after winning the club’s first European tie - a 1-0 first leg victory at Bala Town with David McDaid on the scoresheet. Credit: Zac Goodwin/PA

PA

Larne players applaud the supporters after winning the club’s first European tie - a 1-0 first leg victory at Bala Town with David McDaid on the scoresheet. Credit: Zac Goodwin/PA

Larne manager Tiernan Lynch has insisted the Inver Reds still have plenty of work to do if they are to reach the second qualifying round of the UEFA Conference League.

The Danske Bank Premiership side have given themselves a great chance, however, after Davy McDaid's goal after just 93 seconds gave them a 1-0 win at Bala Town in the first leg of their first qualifying tie on Thursday night.

Larne will take that slim advantage back to Inver Park next Thursday, but Lynch has warned his side that they still have plenty of work to do to close out the tie, believing they will need to produce more in the second leg.

"I think we need to step our game up back on our own pitch, on surroundings we're used to," said Lynch.

"As we saw, they can be a dangerous team. They've a lot of dangerous players, as we knew, they've a lot of height, a lot of strength, and we'll have to be at our best.

"The job isn't done until you know you're in the hat, if you're lucky enough for that to be the case. We'll go away now, we'll look at the game, we'll look at areas we can improve and strengthen, and also areas we can exploit."

It was an historic night for Larne at Maes Tegid as they won their first ever game in European competition having qualified for the Conference League through the Irish League's European play-offs.

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As well as the prestige of progressing and winning in Europe, victory over two legs is worth an additional €300k to each side and would take their overall European earnings to at least €550k for the season.

Lynch was delighted with the performance he got from his players given the context the game was being played under, although he did admit it took them some time to settle - even with the very early goal.

"We came into it with a lot of unknowns, we weren't sure what we were going to get. I think there was a little bit of emotion in the first half and it was a big occasion for us, and I think that told in the first half performance," he added.

"Second half we settled and started to look like our old selves and I thought we managed the game superbly.

"Sometimes (early goals) go for you and sometimes they go against you. You want to take the goals when they come but, at the same time, does it maybe force you to sit back a bit and mentally you have to hold on to something? So mentally they can work for and against you.

"First half we probably didn't get our foot on the ball, didn't control possession as we wanted to, but second half we settled and got our foot on the ball, started to pass it a little better and we created a lot more chances.

"We're talking a lot at the minute about having more penetration in what we do, creating more chances and scoring more goals. You saw that in the second half. I was super proud of them."


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