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Larne have 'hit reset' with win over Carrick and can finish with a flourish, says Tiernan Lynch


Lee Lynch celebrates after netting against Carrick.

Lee Lynch celebrates after netting against Carrick.

Lee Lynch celebrates after netting against Carrick.

Larne boss Tiernan Lynch believes their 3-0 derby win over Carrick Rangers is just what the doctor ordered.

An indifferent run of form in March saw them take nine points from their seven games, including a defeat to Coleraine in midweek.

However, they opened April in much brighter fashion with a comprehensive home win.

"The players needed that," Lynch said.

"The fans also deserved it and hopefully that will settle us down to go and enjoy what's left of the rest of the season.

"We know our form of late hasn't been what we're capable of, but we have hit a reset button and are ready for what's coming next."

Three first-half goals - two from Lee Lynch and a retaken Andy Mitchell penalty - were enough for the points at Inver Park.

Lynch was denied a hat-trick late on as his goal from the penalty spot was ruled out for a double touch after he slipped when taking it.

"I thought we were excellent, especially in the first half," said boss Lynch.

"We got on the ball, we were brave and we built the play and I thought we took our goals very well.

"The positives in the second half were that we created the chances - I would like us to have taken some of them - but our game management was very good and we took a clean sheet from it."

The manager's namesake Lee got the goalscoring action under way with 14 minutes gone.

Full-back Graham Kelly was the architect as he did well to drift inside the pitch and slip the ball to Lynch, who took a touch before unleashing a clinical finish past Aaron Hogg from 15 yards.

As Larne began to move the ball around well, they doubled their lead on 34 minutes when Davy McDaid had his run inside the box ended abruptly by Rangers defender Reece Neal.

Mitchell saw his initial spot-kick saved by Hogg, but referee Raymond Crangle ordered a retake because of encroachment and he made no mistake second time around, hammering it down the middle.

Carrick barely had time to draw breath before they were 3-0 down, with the two goalscorers combining on 37 minutes.

Mitchell's lofted through ball found Lynch in space and he expertly picked it out of the sky before rolling it under the advancing Hogg.

Larne had good chances to add to their tally, most notably with McDaid shooting too close to Hogg and seeing another effort coming off the post.

Carrick, to their credit, kept plugging away and Jordan Jenkins was denied in a one-on-one by a good save from Conor Devlin.

Lynch had the opportunity to claim his first professional hat-trick seven minutes from time but he slipped as he was about to strike his penalty, meaning he took a double touch. Crangle spotted the infringement straight away and ruled out the goal.

Afterwards, Rangers boss Niall Currie was left to bemoan his side's early approach.

"I don't think we gave ourselves a chance with our first-half performance," he said.

"We did everything we didn't want to do. We sat off them and let them play in front of us."

LARNE: Devlin 7, Kelly 7 (Jarvis, 56 mins, 6), Watson 7, Robinson 7, Herron 8 ( McKendry, 79 mins, 6), McDaid 7, Donnelly 8, Lynch 8, A Mitchell 7, Wade Slater 7 (Randall, 64 mins, 7), Cosgrove 8. Unused subs: C Mitchell, Hale, Mottley-Henry, Lusty.

Carrick: Hogg 7, Neale 6, Rodgers 6, Loughran 6 (McMullan, 46 mins, 6), Chapman 6, Kelly 6 (Glendinning, 20 mins, 6), Gordon 6, Cherry 6, Anderson 6 (Forsythe, 64 mins, 6), Jenkins, Cathair Friel 6. Unused subs: Connor Friel, Smith, Gibson, Storey.

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast) 7

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