Belfast Telegraph

Disappointment with Coleraine draw speaks volumes about Larne's aims, says Lynch

Coleraine 0 Larne 0

Shove match: Larne’s Johnny McMurray with Aaron Traynor
Shove match: Larne’s Johnny McMurray with Aaron Traynor

By Steve Jones

Larne boss Tiernan Lynch knows his players aren't too far away from claiming a scalp off one of the Premiership big boys.

The Invermen put in a spirited performance against Coleraine on Saturday and could have emerged with more than just a single point to show for their efforts had Martin Donnelly and Shane McEleney profited from close range.

The Bannsiders were much improved after the break and went close through Eoin Bradley, before a cross from Aaron Jarvis inadvertently cannoned off the crossbar as the match finished goalless.

"It is not an easy place to come, Coleraine are a top side, they're are still unbeaten in the league and they are firing on all cylinders," said Larne boss Lynch, whose newly-promoted side have 12 points from their eight league fixtures to date this term.

"I think the fact that our boys have been left disappointed goes to show what our intentions are.

"I am extremely proud of the players and, particularly in the first-half, I felt we came and played some really good football and put Coleraine on the back foot.

"The second-half was a little bit more of a ding-dong and a little bit more even but, all in all, I am very proud of the boys and their performance.

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"For long periods of the game, we tried but we lacked that clinical edge in terms of finishing.

"With all due respect, our chances probably fell to the wrong people but we can't ask any more of the players.

"They showed that when it was time to play they played but when it was time to roll the sleeves up and fight, they fought."

Coleraine remain the Premiership's only side unbeaten this season and, on the back of a convincing home win against Crusaders, boss Oran Kearney knew the weekend's game would be a cagey affair.

"That was my first look at Larne and I was quite impressed with them," he added.

"That's what games like this are all about. They aren't going to be littered with chances, it's going to come down to two or three opportunities for each side.

"It was very much about patience.

"Our boys were very patient, we had a couple of sniffs in the first-half, but we had three or four big opportunities in the second-half to go on and win it."

COLERAINE: Johns, Kane, Mullan (Douglas, 76 mins), Canning, Jarvis, Doherty, Lowry, Bradley (Maciulaitis, 72 mins), Carson, Glackin (Parkhill, 61 mins), Traynor. Unused subs: Gallagher, McConaghie, Gawne, McGuckin.

LARNE: Devlin, Flowers, Kelly, Watson, Sule, Randall (McEleney, 87 mins), Donnelly (Tilney, 74 mins), Lynch (McKendry, 67 mins), Cosgrove, Hughes, McMurray. Unused subs: Pauley, Graham, Andrade, Gilmour.

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)

Man of the Match: Fuad Sule

Match Rating: 6/10

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