Larne leave it late to see off Glenavon

Ian Cahoon

Glenavon 0 Larne 1

A LATE own goal from Sean Ward gave Larne all three points at Mourneview Park in a scrappy affair.

It was enough to give Larne a 1-0 win and get them back to winning ways after consecutive defeats.

It leaves them five points clear ahead of the remaining fixtures, while it inflicted Glenavon's second defeat in a row.

From kick-off, however, Gary Hamilton’s men took the game to Larne and forced a series of corners.

From their first one, with less than a minute gone, Conor McCloskey’s set piece on the left was cleared off the line as they came within inches of making the perfect start.

Larne settled down after weathering an early storm, but much of the first half turned into a scrappy affair with the ball spending longer in the air than on the grass.

It was Glenavon who were next to threaten, with 29 minutes gone.

Space opened up for Glenavon dangerman Peter Campbell, but he ended up slicing just wide from the edge of the ‘D’.

The closest Larne came to breaking the deadlock was Leroy Millar’s looping header from a Ben Doherty header, although it was always sailing over Rory Brown’s crossbar.

Hamilton’s men were forced into a reshuffle just before the break when former Linfield defender Mark Haughey had to hobble off, with experienced midfielder Michael O’Connor coming on to replace him.

Larne were first to threaten four minutes into the second half, when former Glenavon man Ben Doherty cut inside from the left and brought a fine low save from Brown at his near post. 

At the other end, Glenavon, who almost opened the scoring in spectacular fashion, with 66 minutes on the clock. Glenavon did well to move the ball to youngster Isaac Baird and he let fly with a dipping effort from 20 yards which Rohan Ferguson did well to turn over his crossbar.

Larne then broke the deadlock with ten minutes to go. A cross from the right was bravely blocked by Calum Birney for a corner.

From the resulting set piece, sub Daniel Kearns whipped in a dangerous cross which skidded off the head of the unfortunate Sean Ward and past Brown for the game’s opener.

After this, Glenavon poured forward in search of an equalizer, but Larne looked dangerous on the break with Paul O’Neill firing just wide.

They missed an even better chance in the 90th minute when O’Neill did the hard work this time to setup Leroy Millar who fired over from eight yards out, but held on to claim the points.

Glenavon: Brown, Ward, Birney, Haughey (’42 O’Connor), Wallace, Campbell (’80 Prendergast), Snoddy, Baird (’80 Malone), Glynn, McCloskey (’75 Bradley), Fitzpatrick

Unused subs: Kerr, Scannell, J Doyle

Larne: Ferguson, Cosgrove, Watson, Bolger, Donnelly, Doherty, Gordon (’56 Hughes), Sule, Millar, O’Neill, Lusty (’56 Kearns)

Unused subs: McIntyre, Kelly, Scott, Hutchison, Sloan

Referee: Christopher Morrison