Loughgall 3 – 7 Larne

Larne put in a spectacular performance to send seven goals past a Loughgall side who finished with ten man when Ricky Copeland was dismissed on 78 minutes.

Both sides went into this fixture in good form; Loughgall had won four games in a row whilst Larne were seven games undefeated including a great victory over league leaders H&W Welders last week.

The visitors started the game well however both sides had chances in the first half hour. Gerard Gillan fired just over from 25 yards for Larne whilst, for Loughgall, Daniel Ryan was thwarted by ‘keeper Paddy Flood twice in quick succession.

Four goals were scored in a crazy ten minute spell before the break; firstly Guillaume Keke latched onto Darren Stuart’s forward ball and chipped the outrushing home ’keeper Gareth Buchanan for a well-taken opener. Then Stuart McMillan connected with Gillan’s corner to head goalwards, Loughgall ‘keeper Buchanan did well to parry from close range however he was helpless to stop James McCabe from tapping in the rebound.

Larne made it 3-0 in the 42nd minute when striker Keke sprang the offside trap and rounded Buchanan to slide the ball home from inside the penalty area.

The Villagers pulled a goal back just before the interval thanks to Ricky Copeland beating Larne ‘keeper Flood to Jamie Rea’s excellent free-kick delivery.

Any hopes of Loughgall getting back into the game were dashed five minutes into the second period when McCabe tapped home after a fine run and shot from Thomas Robinson.

The visitors missed a great chance to extend their lead again on 62 minutes when Gary Henderson fouled Keke inside the area. Striker Keke stepped up for the chance to score his hat-trick from the penalty spot however Buchanan did superbly to save low to his right.

However Larne were not to be denied a fifth goal as they Darren Stuart slotted home Gillan’s cutback two minutes later.

Things worsened for the home side as Copeland received a straight red card from referee Jamie Robinson for a heavy challenge on Keke in the 78th minute.

This seemed to spark Loughgall into life however and they scored twice in the following six minutes to reduce the scoreline to 5-3. Firstly Warner Mullen fired an unstoppable shot past ‘keeper Flood and then Daniel Ryan slotted home in a one-on-one situation.

Two goals in additional time put even more daylight between the sides; substitute Scott Irvine curled a fantastic shot into the top corner before Michael Smith scored a fantastic individual goal skilfully evading three challenges before a deft finish past ‘keeper Buchanan.

Loughgall: Buchanan, Henderson, Taylor, Copeland, Hudson, Walsh, Tavares (Dane 66m), McMahon, Mullan, Ryan, Rea. Unused: Morrow, Greenaway

Larne: Flood, Bradley, Robinson, McClean, McGrandles, McMullan (Rodgers 45), Smith, Stuart (McGonnell 76), G. Gillan, McCabe, Keke (Irvine 81m). Unused: Todd, Donnelly.