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Women’s Challenge Cup: Five-star showing by Larne against Comber in first round

After a hard fought 1-1 draw against Ballymena United two days previously, the Inver Reds were tired but eager to fight back in their Electric Ireland Women’s Challenge Cup first round match.

Championship counterparts Comber Rec were the visitors. The County Down side sit in the drop zone in the league, but they had their eyes on progress in the cup.

In the first half, Comber showed they had a point to prove with their attackers, Ashleigh Scott-Brown and Teagan Lawson, making real inroads through the Inver Women’s defence. Having being beaten by the Larne outfit 4-1 in their last meeting, Comber were trying to ensure that the same score line was not repeated. Even with the Comber goalkeeper, Amy Glass, not being tested in the opening exchanges in the first half, there were still ominous signs of Larne continuing their recent good form.

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With Comber Rec looking dishevelled and frayed in the last 10 minutes of the first half, Larne were finally beginning to take control of the game. In the 38th minute, Georgia Crawford showed good footwork to volley the into the bottom corner for the opener.

Larne FC Women and Comber Rec Ladies emerging into the playing area for the game at Inver. Photos by Paul Harvey.

Things got even worse for Comber two minutes later, when Amanda Morton converted a penalty kick. The match seemed all but decided with a 46th minute goal by newly signed Hollie Johnston making it 3-0 going into the second half.

The second half was more low key. Larne had occasional forays down the right-hand side. Further gloss was added to the scoreline when Elle Houston scored a penalty in the 66th and doubled her tally in the 88th minute to bring the game to definitive close with a convincing five goal win.

Speaking to the club’s media, manager William Noble said: “I’m really happy with the performance of the team, off the back of a disappointing result against Ballymena during the week.”

Larne FC Women: Angela Buckley, Aimee McKenzie, Aimee Beggs, Megan McMurray, Elle Houston, Georgia Crawford, Amanda Morton, Holly Robinson, Morgan Hanna, Jenifer Montgomery, Hollie Johnston. Subs: Katherine Haveron, Rebecca Boyce, Rachel Robinson.

Amanda Morton converted a penalty kick

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Neat footwork from Larne in the Challenge Cup encounter
Larne put in a strong performance to defeat Comber.