Bet McClean League Cup: Lynch 'lost for words' as Larne lose to Linfield

There was a dramatic conclusion to the Bet McClean League Cup quarter-final match between Larne and Linfield last night (Tuesday) as the Blues won on penalties to progress to the last-four.
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Scoreless on 90 minutes, the game at Inver went to extra-time.

The visitors were reduced to 10-men in the first half of extra-time after Kyle McClean received his second yellow card of the evening following a challenge on Aaron Donnelly.

However, it was David Healy’s charges who took the lead, when Euan East found the net with a header on 109.

Linfield players celebrate at Inver Park. (Pic: Pacemaker).Linfield players celebrate at Inver Park. (Pic: Pacemaker).
Linfield players celebrate at Inver Park. (Pic: Pacemaker).

Lee Bonis drew the tie level on 112, before Leroy Millar put the home side in front on 114.

With a minute of extra-time to be played, Braiden Graham scored for Linfield to send the tie to penalties.

The reigning League Cup champions won the shootout 3-2 to progress to the semi-finals, where they will play Dungannon or Newry.

Speaking to Larne’s media director, Ian Cahoon, manager Tiernan Lynch said: “I’m lost for words, if I’m honest. Hugely disappointed that we’d the game won and to concede in the manner we did, so late on, was a tough pill to swallow.

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"I think we did all the right things when we got to extra-time. We played around them and got into good areas and we looked like we were pushing.

"We were caught by a bit of a sucker punch in the middle of the park, but I felt we showed great character to bring ourselves back in and go 2-1 up.

"Normally the players are excellent at seeing a game out- we don’t concede a huge amount of goals. To concede the goals we did was poor on our part.

"Penalty shootouts are penalty shootouts and I don’t think we should’ve let it get that far.

"I want to concentrate on the things we did well, but we’ll have to revisit the things we didn’t do so well because we can’t find ourselves in that position again. We’ve got to learn from it.”

Larne return to Sports Direct Irish Premiership action on Friday when they host Glenavon (7.45pm).

Lynch added: “It was a tough game tonight because it went to extra-time and penalties. We’ve to go and get a good recovery, get back with a game plan for Glenavon and go again.”