FOOTBALL: Harkin seals big win for Limavady

Limavady United's Lee Harkin scored the winning goal against Larne.
Limavady United's Lee Harkin scored the winning goal against Larne.

Limavady United 1-0 Larne

This game won't last long in the memory bank, but at the end of the season it may turn out to be a big three points, for Limavady United.

The Roesiders were second best for most of the first half, but rolled their sleeves up and had Lee Harkin to thank for their second league success of the season.

Larne, who had a lot of possession in the first half, didn't have a cutting edge up front and those missed chances in the opening 45 minutes meant they suffered another defeat.

As expected new signing Robbie Hume came straight back into the United starting line-up, but Larne's recent recruit David Scullion didn't make the squad.

A miss placed pass by Graham Crown on six minutes fell perfectly to Larne's Darren Stuart, but the striker's 20 yard effort was tipped over by United keeper Ray Kelly.

Larne had another good chance on 13 minutes as United gifted possession away again, this time Matthew Henry fed Daniels Reynolds inside the box, but the striker blasted just wide.

Soon after United had their first opportunity as Hume saw his well hit goal bound drive, bravely deflected wide by Larne centre-back Kevin Bradley.

On the half hour mark United had strong claims for a penalty after Bradley seemed to impede Hume inside the box, before bringing the striker down, but referee Declan Hassan waved away United's protests.

The woodwork came to United's rescue on six minutes later as Ralph Kottoy's 25 yard free-kick, which had keeper Kelly beaten, clipped the outside of the left hand post.

Totally against the run of play the home side took the lead on 40 minutes as Hume held the ball up before feeding Lee Harkin, who made no mistake from the right hand side of the penalty box, firing high past Larne keeper Stephen McConnell.

Larne's domination in the first half didn't materialise in the second half, but they went close to levelling things on 65 minutes but Reynolds' long range strike was straight at Kelly.

A minute later United substitute Paul Owens fed Hume, who created himself some space on the edge of the box but his left footed strike was tipped around the post by McConnell.

Kelly had to make a good save on 70 minutes as Kottoy saw his stunning 25 yard strike superbly kept out by a fully stretched United keeper.

Larne made their third and final change on 82 minutes as Jonathan Wilson replaced skipper Conor Downey and they also decided to push more men forward as they went to three at the back, but they failed to test Kelly in the closing stages.

In fact in stoppage time Hume was inches away from scoring on his debut, but he dragged his left footed strike wide.

Limavady United: Ray Kelly, Richard King (Joel Bradley HT Jordan Thompson 72), Hugh Carlin, Graham Crown, Declan McKeever, Lee Harkin, Gary McFadden, Gerard Gillan, Ryan Logue, Robbie Hume, Shane Jennings (Paul Owens 61).

Larne: Stephen McConnell, Joseph Fornah, Jerry Thompson, Kevin Bradley, David Abe, Conor Downey (Jonathan Wilson 82), Matthew Henry (Michael Tolan 75), Ralph Kottoy, Daniel Reynolds, Darren Stuart (Nordine Guendouze 57), James McCabe.

Referee: Declan Hasson (Ballymoney),