Bet McLean League Cup: East Antrim sides progress to second round

Larne FC, Carrick Rangers and Ballyclare Comrades all progressed to the second round of the Bet McLean League Cup following wins on Tuesday (September 13).

Larne won 5-1 against Lisburn Distillery at Inver Park.

Matthew Lusty claimed the match ball with three goals for the home side.

Lusty opened the scoring on 20 minutes with the Whites levelling moments later through Matthew Swann. However, Lusty struck again on 27 with Sean Brown hitting another just after the half-hour mark before a Stephen Curley own goal and Lusty's third wrapped the goals up midway through the second half.

Stuart King.

Speaking to the club’s Media Director Ian Cahoon after the game, Academy Director Gary Haveron said: “It’s really imporant to give everyone game-time early in the season and it’s great to come away with a comfortable win.

"We have exciting players who like to get forward, create opportunities and score goals. Job done and we’re into the next round and these guys hopefully gave themselves another opportunity to go and showcase what they are about.

"We give kids an opportunity because we have a manager who believes in them. If we can retain these boys for a long time, then the future is very bright at this football club.”

Larne’s east Antrim neighbours Carrick Rangers enjoyed a 5-0 win over manager Stuart King’s former club Banbridge Town at Taylors Avenue.

Curtis Allen, Emmett McGuckin [2], Andy Mitchell and Aodhan Gillen got on the scoresheet for the Danske Bank Irish Premiership side.

Speaking to Carrick’s media team after the clash, King said: “I’m delighted. It was a really professional job. We were on it from the start and we showed them loads of respect by playing a good strong team. I have so much time for the guys at that club. We had to do professional job and we did.

"They have set a standard so far this season and they have to keep on living up to it. I’m not going to get carried away, but some of our play in the first half was outstanding. Some players are playing out of their skin at the moment and hopefully they can continue.

"The younger boys have to keep pushing the senior players because they’ll get their opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Ballyclare Comrades will also be in the draw for the second round after defeating fellow Lough 41 NIFL Championship side Ballinamallard United at Dixon Park.

Stephen Small’s charges came from two down to defeat the Fermanagh-based side 4-2 after extra-time.

Reece Byrne fired the Mallards in front on 27 minutes before John Edgar doubled the visitors’ advantage six minutes later.

Darius Roohi pulled one back from the spot for the home side with around 10 minutes remaining in the half.

Ballyclare could have levelled midway through the second half only for Cathal Farren to miss a second penalty, but a third home spot-kick of the game with around a quarter-of-an-hour remaining was converted by Gary Donnelly.

With the game tied at 2-2 at the end of normal time, an additional 30 minutes was required.

Conall Curran edged the Comrades in front for the first time on 100 minutes with a finish into the bottom corner.

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