Lee Bonis bags brace as Larne boss highlights striker’s ‘game has to change’

Larne boss Tiernan Lynch watched his high-profile January signing Lee Bonis bag a brace on Saturday then declared the hard work on the striker’s development will only continue.

Bonis pushed his tally in Larne club colours to three goals across the past two appearances following a weekend double in the 4-0 defeat of former club Portadown.

Although Bonis refused to celebrate scoring against his hometown club, the 22-year-old forward will embrace the growing popularity of the Larne fans and words of praise from his manager.

“There’s absolutely no pressure on Lee Bonis, ” said Lynch after Bonis had scored two with a third disallowed. “He’s a fantastic kid, his work ethic is phenomenal every single day, his willingness and eagerness to improve.

Lee Bonis has now scored three goals in his past two games for Larne following a January transfer from Portadown. Pic by Pacemaker.

“He knows what his strengths are but knows what his areas of improvement are and we’re working hard on those for him.

“It will take time but I think Lee’s game (with us) has to change.

“At Portadown he played a different game, he ran channels and he had to try and make an awful lot for himself.

“Whereas, in our team, he has to be more about getting between the sticks and score goals and today was the perfect opportunity to see he is definitely learning.”

Lynch lined out with Ronan Hale and David McDaid included in the attacking unit with Bonis as goals by Kofi Balmer and Navid Nasseri built on the position of strength off the striker’s brace.

“We’ve scored seven goals now in two games and not conceded any, which is all very positive for us,” said Lynch following a game in which his side had 15 corner-kicks compared to zero for the visitors. “It was very, very pleasing for us...I felt we were dominant from the first whistle.

“There were little periods in there when we lost our way a little bit when we went backwards and maybe should have gone forward at times.

“But, listen, it’s very hard to be critical of your team when the players win 4-0 and the opposition don’t get a shot on goal.

“It’s something we work very hard on...to go on the front foot and press and try not to give opponents too much time and space.

“Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn’t and, thankfully, today it did.

“We talked at half-time about how for all our dominance we would have liked a wee bit more outcome.

“At times we got into really good positions but maybe not clinical enough.

“Once we got the second goal then we really settled down, started moving it really quickly and got ourselves in good positions.

“Without being disrespectful to Portadown, we probably could have and should have had a couple more goals.”

LARNE: Devlin, Balmer, Watson, Sule, Herron (Mitchell, 69), Hale (Scott, 63), McDaid (Lynch, 67), Doherty (Nasseri, 67), Bonis, Cosgrove, Jarvis.

Subs (not used): Argyrides, Adair, Aretzis.

PORTADOWN: Barr, Hall, Ruddy, Finnegan, McKeown (McCallum, 69), Tipton (J.Doherty, 77), Salley, Conaty (Smith, 69), Warde (Teggart, 54), Dupree (Lavery, 46), Dugan.

Subs (not used): H.Doherty, Glenfield.

REFEREE: Raymond Crangle.

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