EAST ANTRIM DERBY ENDS SCORELESS
Larne were held to a scoreless draw in the East Antrim derby by Carrick Rangers despite twice having the ball in the net.
Tiernan Lynch's side enjoyed the bulk of the early possession but couldn't create anything in front of goal until, with just less than 20 minutes on the clock, Ronan Hale produced a fine save from Carrick keeper Neil Shields from the edge of the box.
Larne did find a way through on 28 minutes when Thomas Oluwa directed a header past Shields but this was ruled out offside.
Shields did enjoy a stroke of luck later in the first half when an attempted clearance came back off Hale and bounced towards goal but the keeper recovered in time to gather the ball.
Ben Doherty might have opened the scoring just before the hour when he chased a through ball but Shields was alert to snuff out the danger.
As the game progressed Larne found the well marshalled Carrick defence a tough nut to crack although they almost edged in front late on.
David McDaid fired well over from inside the box when the ball dropped to him while, right at the end of normal time, he was also unable to control a header after receiving a cross from Tomas Cosgrove.
Then, in stoppage time, Mark Randall thought he had bagged a last gasp winner but, as before, this was also ruled offside by the officials.
Larne: Ferguson, Balmer, Nasseri, Randall, Hale, Doherty, Oluwa, Bolger, Cosgrove, Hughes, Jarvis subs Argyrides (not used), Kelly (not used), Watson (not used), McDaid (replaced Hale 62), Scott (replaced Doherty 71), Lynch (replaced Oluwa 46), Mitchell (replaced Hughes 62)
Carrick Rangers: Shields, Forsythe, Surgenor, Ervin, McGuckin, Gawne, Cherry, Nixon, Glendinning, Tilney, Anderson subs Shannon (not used), E. Kelly (replaced Nixon 82), Kalla (replaced Cherry 86), Mulholland (not used), McGimpsey (not used), Gibson (replaced McGuckin 71), Millar (not used)