COLERAINE manager Rodney McAree was pleased to see his side pick up all three points against Newry City last night…
The Bannsiders led at the interval via Dean Shiels’ close range strike, but Newry responded after the break and equalised as Tiernan Rushe fired home.
However, the visitors made their numerical advantage count after Dale Montgomery’s first-half dismissal as Cormac Burke, Eoin Bradley and James McLaughlin all found the net to register all three points – much to McAree’s satisfaction.
“The last time we played Newry at our place it was a disappointing evening for ourselves and we knew the Newry players would have enjoyed their journey home,” he said.
“We wanted to reverse that and it wasn’t about revenge or anything like that, but we needed to make sure that we came here and gave a good account of ourselves.
“I thought we did that and the sending off was harsh from Newry’s point of view as I don’t know what Dale Montgomery had done wrong.
“I thought up until the sending off we started the game very well, and we played more football than we did last week which was encouraging and it was an enjoyable evening.
“We didn’t start the second-half well and when Newry were reduced to 10 men we were a little bit sloppy.
“We probably didn’t cover as well as we did in the first half and maybe that was a little bit of complacency.
“For two or three minutes after that, we conceded another couple of opportunities, so it was a ten minute period which we needed to overcome and get ourselves going again.
“Thankfully we did that to run out comfortable winners.”
The victory was the perfect response to last week’s defeat to Ballymena United and McAree was also pleased to see goal contributions coming from all areas of the pitch.
“It was important for us to just get back onto the pitch,” he added.
“It was a horrible result and it was a result our supporters didn’t deserve.
“Our players probably deserved it as we weren’t good enough but we wanted to respond for ourselves and everyone associated with the club.
“Dixie has a real goal threat as he seems to pop up in the right areas and has scored three since arriving here which is really encouraging.
“Skinner’s goal is a great finish and Cormac’s strike was taken brilliantly and I thought he did well on his first start.
“James McLaughlin did what James McLaughlin does as he is a natural finisher and he knows where the net is.
“Outside of the goals, I thought Steven Douglas at 41 years of age, and who hasn’t played much football recently, was marvellous.”
McAree made six changes to his starting eleven and was delighted to see those who were given a chance making the most of their opportunities.
“There are boys sitting watching games other weeks and they are seeing us lose 4-0 last week and wondering ‘when are we getting an opportunity’?
“I thought it was only right that they played tonight and I have faith in all of my players.
“I am happy with my squad and I feel the one thing we had to do in January was stabilise the squad in terms of having numbers and bodies around us.
“If we had of come here earlier on in the season with seven players out, we would have been down to the bare bones.
“Tonight we had seven players out and we were able to fill our bench and make the changes we were able to which is a massive positive.”