Belfast Telegraph

Curran thrilled to climb off the bench and make decisive impact

Cliftonville 1 Larne 0

Bright spark: Ryan Curran celebrates his winner for Reds
Bright spark: Ryan Curran celebrates his winner for Reds

By Conor McLaughlin

Late goal hero Ryan Curran said that Cliftonville's tense encounter with Larne on Saturday was crying out for some inspiration from the bench.

The Reds looked to have passed up their best chance of victory when Joe Gormley skewed a penalty wide early in the second half, until Curran - introduced on 80 minutes - blasted home from inside the box as the clock ticked down.

"Watching from the bench, it was one of those scrappy games that looked like it needed somebody to come on and change it," said the 25-year-old, whose father Paul played for and managed Larne early in the century.

"I'm not necessarily saying it was me that was going to make the difference, it could have been anybody because the teams looked like they were cancelling one another out."

Curran ultimately decided the issue when, after threading Ruaidhri Donnelly in down the left, he picked up the pieces to thunder past Conor Devlin from Seanna Foster's blast across the face of goal.

"What a shank from Seanna!" he smiled.

"I think he's saying it was an assist and, if I was him, I'd probably say that, too."

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CLIFTONVILLE: Brush, McDermott (Foster, 69 mins), Breen, Harney, C Curran, R Donnelly, Bagnall, Doherty, Gormley (Gorman, 90 mins), McMenamin (R Curran, 80 mins), A Donnelly. Unused subs: McKee, Wilson, Maguire, Rocks.

LARNE: Devlin, Flowers, Kelly, Watson, Sule (Ramsey, 90 mins), Randall (Tilney, 76 mins), McDaid, Donnelly, Lynch (McKendry, 62 mins), Cosgrove, Hughes. Unused subs: Mitchell, Andrade, Gilmour, Harrison.

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)

Man of the match: Richard Brush

Match rating: 5/10

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