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Match Reaction

Big Hearts

COLERAINE manager Oran Kearney had mixed emotions after last night’s enthralling 2-2 draw against Glentoran at The Oval…

The Bannsiders would have the half-time lead through Conor McKendry’s strike from distance but the hosts turned the game on its head after the break by netting twice in a 14 minute spell through Jay Donnelly’s double.

Despite admitting his side conceded a couple of ‘sloppy goals’ in east Belfast, he was full of praise for their endeavours in staying in the game to salvage a point.

“It is disappointing because in games against Glentoran we have generally gone behind,” he said.

“We were pleased to get the first goal and the manner of it and I thought we managed the first-half well.

“I thought the first 20 minutes of the second-half we weren’t at the races and I think you have to Glentoran credit because they were. They came out, lifted it and upped it and we had didn’t have many answers in that spell.

“It happens in football all the time and I think when that other team has a purple patch, and we have been there many times before, the important thing is you weather the storm, do what it takes to see it out and try and get back on your feet again.

“Sadly, we conceded a couple of sloppy goals at that time and we leave ourselves a mountain to climb.

“However, bar a moment of brilliance from Lyndon and a great finish from ‘Bushy’, it looked like we were heading for a defeat.”

Coleraine would ensure they would leave with a share of the spoils – the fourth consecutive time against the Glens – as Lyndon Kane’s superb run and pass found Cathair Friel who stroked home his fifth goal of the campaign in all competitions.

Kearney remarked that his changing room is full of players “with big hearts” and that they never know when they are beaten.

“We have a great changing room and a great bunch and the one thing you’ll never doubt is that there is people in there with big hearts and Lyndon being right in the front of it,” he added.

“Even when the chips are down, that’s what football and life is all about, and you’ve got to make sure to keep fighting and slugging.

“We hung in there enough, we weathered the storm and it’s a great play for the goal.

“Lyndon broke a couple of lines and rather than passing, he just went on a run.

“He keeps going between players and I think everyone is waiting for someone to tackle him but he takes smart touches through the middle.

“He then has the vision to pick out Cathair with a great weight of pass and it was a really good finish.”

The Bannsiders are home to Warrenpoint Town on Saturday and Kearney believes those types of games are just as difficult to overcome.

“It’s just as hard a challenge as tonight and they always are,” he continued.

“We’ve been to Carrick a couple of times this year and we’ve had our full of it.

“It will be no different against Warrenpoint as they are fighting for their lives down there.

“They will come with a game plan to try and frustrate and it’s up to us to make sure we are right on it.”