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Larne's new boys will get 'better and better' as season goes on, warns Tiernan Lynch

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Larne manager Tieman Lynch watches on as his side saw off Bala Town in their first ever European tie. Pic: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

Larne manager Tieman Lynch watches on as his side saw off Bala Town in their first ever European tie. Pic: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

PA

Larne manager Tieman Lynch watches on as his side saw off Bala Town in their first ever European tie. Pic: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

Larne have already made history in their opening two games of the season but Tiernan Lynch has sent out a warning to the Irish League that his side can only get better.

There have been three new signings at the heart of the defence that kept back-to-back clean sheets in the Europa Conference League wins over Bala Town, with former Linfield goalkeeper Rohan Ferguson lining out behind defensive duo Kofi Balmer and Ciaran Bolger.

Former Northampton Town defender Bolger had come in only a few days before last week’s first leg but nonetheless was thrown straight into the starting line-up.

And as the trio – as well as another goalkeeping recruit in the form of Canadian Michael Argyrides – continue to bed in, Lynch says there can only be positive outcomes for his side.

“There are a number of factors in the last two performances,” he said. “There were some nerves last week and we certainly weren’t ourselves. The boys coming into the team probably weren’t used to the style that we play, building from the back and the things that we do.
“We worked on that this week in training and I think it told tonight. I think every time that we play, they’ll just get better and better.”

It took a late wonderstrike from Ronan Hale to beat Bala 1-0 in Thursday’s second leg at Inver Park and complete a 2-0 aggregate victory. Coming as it did in front of the new Church End stand on its debut night, it was pretty much the perfect outcome for the club.

“Absolutely delighted,” said Lynch. “I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved with the club. So much time and effort went into getting the stadium ready and then the team. Having Kenny (Bruce – owner) here tonight, everything just seemed right and I couldn’t be more pleased for Ronan opening our new stand with a goal like that.

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“He was excellent when he came on but I thought all the subs were. The made a real difference to the game but from start to finish, I thought we were very dominant.

“There’s always that nervousness when you’re only winning by one goal and you’re very conscious of Bala Town’s threat. They’re a strong, physical side and they only need one set piece and you could be in trouble.
“When Ronan came on and ultimately put the tie to bed, it was a huge relief.”

Next up is a tie against Danish side AGF Aarhus, who finished third in last season’s Superliga and who last one a European tie in the 97/98 season, having fallen at the first hurdle in 2012 and last season, when they were beaten 5-2 on aggregate by Finnish side Honka.

“I refused point blank to do anything looking past tonight so I don’t know anything about them,” said Lynch. “The homework starts tomorrow.

“We have talked about this before, we want a squad that can go deep into these competitions and if you want to do that, you have to go against these teams.”
 


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