Belfast Telegraph

We missed chances to finish off Reds: Watson

Larne 1 Cliftonville 1

Albert Watson believes Larne can feel disappointed not to have come away from Inver Park with all three points following their 1-1 draw with Cliftonville. (stock photo)
Albert Watson believes Larne can feel disappointed not to have come away from Inver Park with all three points following their 1-1 draw with Cliftonville. (stock photo)

By Ian Cahoon

Albert Watson believes Larne can feel disappointed not to have come away from Inver Park with all three points following their 1-1 draw with Cliftonville.

It was the first time Cliftonville had been stopped in their tracks in two months, after seven league wins in a row.

However, while satisfied with a point, experienced defender Watson feels the Invermen could have had even more.

"It was probably a good game for the neutral," Watson said.

"It was a good game from our point of view too, because we had some chances in the game.

"We're a bit disappointed with the goal we gave away, even though you have to say it was a great finish. You don't want Joe Gormley in those sort of positions, but we got back into it after that and tried to create chances and play football and we did that.

"I felt we were pushing the issue in the second half in trying to get the winner and its testament to the boys because Cliftonville are a very good side.

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"You hear managers saying it week in, week out, but there really are no easy games in the league this year. There is such a challenge every week and it's the best there has been in many years."

Gary Breen's 19th minute own goal, from Davy McDaid's teasing cross, gave Larne the lead.

However, Gormley's thunderous finish 11 minutes later earned a share of the spoils for a Cliftonville side who were knocked off the summit on goal difference.

Reds boss Paddy McLaughin insists there was no change of approach from the visitors, despite coming into the game as league leaders for the first time.

"There was no real chat about it in the dressing room," McLaughlin said.

"There was also nothing made of it from myself either, because I understand how long the season is and how good the teams are in and around us. We just wanted to try to win the game.

"We've had three really tough games inside a week, with Ballymena, Glentoran and then Larne and we maybe started to tire at the end. We take a point and move on."

Larne: Devlin, Flowers, Kelly, Watson, Ramsey, Randall, McDaid, Donnelly, Lynch, Hughes, McMurray.

Unused subs: Mitchell, Tilney, Andrade, McKendry, Barron, Gilmour, Harrison

Cliftonville: Brush, McDermott, Breen, Harney, McKee (R Donnelly 51), C Curran, R Curran, Bagnall, Gormley (McMenamin 76), Doherty, A Donnelly.

Unused subs: Dunne, Wilson, Foster, Maguire, Gorman

Referee: Jamie Robinson

Man of the Match: Jeff Hughes.

Match rating: 7/10.

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