Belfast Telegraph

Watson tips Larne to bounce back

Larne 1 Institute 1

Big characters: Albert Watson says Larne will keep working
Big characters: Albert Watson says Larne will keep working

By Ian Cahoon

Albert Watson knows all about how quickly things can change in football.

The 34-year-old Larne defender was part of the side which demolished Glenavon 6-0 at Inver Park at the start of the month.

Since then, the east Antrim outfit have suffered four defeats on the bounce, before drawing 1-1 with relegation-threatened Institute on Saturday.

While frustrated, the former Linfield ace believes Tiernan Lynch's side can now build a positive run, starting with Saturday's trip to Ballymena United.

"Things can change so quickly in football, for good or bad," he said.

"We went on to lose 1-0 away to Cliftonville in a game that could have gone either way. Both sides had a couple of chances that day but we lose 1-0, then we lose the two games narrowly against Glentoran.

"We have to find a way of winning tight matches, which means scoring when you're top and also at the other end not to giving away silly goals.

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"I see how hard these boys work every day in training, they are putting in the effort and have to move on now."

Despite moving back into the top six with the point, Watson admits it was a frustrating day with Larne unable to find way past a resolute Institute side.

"We knew how they would come to play, but we just didn't move the ball quickly enough," he said. "After the run of defeats we've had, we've taken a draw so we have to take that positive from it and move forward.

"We can't be getting on each other's backs. We know how good we are, so we have to back each other up.

"In situations like this, you find out who the good characters are and that's what we need as we aim to get back to winning ways next week."

Joe McCready's 18th minute penalty fired Stute ahead, but Larne were level within five minutes, when Marty Donnelly finished off a fine move.

Visiting boss Sean Connor was delighted with his side's commitment.

"This is the standard we've set ourselves, and we know we can't fall below that now," he said.

"We worked hard and put in a really good effort.

"Their goal was a very good goal but, apart from that, I don't think they challenged us much."

LARNE: Devlin, Flowers, Kelly, McEleney (Lynch, 64 mins), Sule, Randall (Watson, 46 mins), McDaid, Donnelly, Graham (Tilney, 65 mins), Cosgrove , McMurray. Unused subs: Mitchell, Ramsey, Tilney, McKendry, Gilmour.

Institute: R Brown, Morrow (Leppard, 90 mins), C McLaughlin, Bonner, Curry, Grace, Tourish, G Brown (B McLaughlin, 57 mins), McCready, McCauley, Crown (McNamee, 70 mins). Unused subs: Wells, McIntyre, McNamee, McGurk, Bradley.

Referee: Lee Tavinder (Dungannon)

Man of the match: Joe McCready

Match rating: 5/10

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