COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney insists his players will have to go “back to basics” as they face Carrick Rangers tomorrow afternoon (KO 3pm)…
Danske Bank Premiership
Coleraine made it seven matches without a win in the Premiership last weekend as they were held to a goalless draw by Portadown at Shamrock Park. In a game that had very little chances, the Bannsiders’ best effort would land at the feet of Stephen Lowry but he was denied by a superb stop from Jethren Barr. The fixture marks a busy week for Oran Kearney’s men as they also face Glentoran next Tuesday and then Linfield the following Saturday.
Carrick Rangers come into the contest after last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Glenavon at the Loughview Leisure Arena. The Amber Army looked certain to pocket all three points as they led by two goals heading into added time but they would be sucker punched as Glenavon netted twice at the death to ensure a share of the spoils. Stuart King’s side are currently 9th in the Premiership standings and will face Cliftonville in the second round of the Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup. The ‘Gers have added Jack Chambers to their squad in January, as well as securing the pre-contract signing of Cameron Stewart for next season.
The two teams are well versed this campaign with this weekend being the fourth time they have locked horns – with all three previous games being played in Carrickfergus.
The two clubs met each other in early September as Coleraine went into the contest after losing their first two league games of the campaign. After making a strong start, the Bannsiders would take the lead in fortuitous circumstances as Conor McKendry’s cross inadvertently went into the net. Just before the half-time whistle, the hosts would be reduced to ten men as Jim Ervin received his marching orders for bringing down Matthew Shevlin. Oran Kearney’s men used the extra man to their advantage after the break as Shevlin notched a deadly double to make it a 3-0 win for the Stripes.
In October, the Bannsiders were drawn against Carrick Rangers in the third round of the BetMcLean League Cup. The visitors would take a first-half lead as Jamie Glackin headed the ball into the path of Matthew Shevlin who converted from close range. In a fixture that failed to provide many chances, the Stripes would double their advantage with less than ten minutes remaining as Shevlin rifled home a second after Aaron Traynor’s throw-in to the box wasn’t fully cleared. At the death, Gareth Deane would preserve his clean sheet as he dived to his right to keep out Mark Surgenor’s penalty.
A month later, it would be a case of defences being on top as the Bannsiders would have to settle with a point for their efforts. In truth, the Amber Army had the best chances of the game but Gareth Deane was in superb form to stop Jordan Gibson, Ben Tilney and Lloyd Anderson from making the breakthrough.
“It’s just our next game,” Kearney said.
“Carrick have fought and fought and have had massive improvement under Stuart this year and have picked up some big performances on the road and at home as well.
“It will be as tough as Portadown if not tougher, so for us, we have to get our house in order and it’s as simple as that.
“You could say that people haven’t been at it or off the boil slightly, but with that, we have to get back to basics and try to get performances on the pitch again.”
The match referee will be Diarmuid Harrigan.
The assistant referees are Gareth Eakin and Paul Robinson.
Christopher Morrison has been allocated as the fourth official.
The match sponsor is J. Calvin/W. Mitchell Car Body Repairs.
Derek Stewart has kindly agreed to sponsor the match ball.
The mascots tomorrow afternoon will be Cooper, Ralph and Daniel, who will have the honour of leading out the team.
The Man of the Match award will be sponsored by Holley Optometrists.
Season tickets are valid for the fixture, although, non-season ticket holders will require matchday tickets for the fixture which can be bought online HERE.
Carrick Rangers fans will also need tickets to enter the stadium which can be purchased HERE.
If you are attending the Social Club or Club 1927 Lounge, you will need to avail of the new COVID regulations HERE.
If you are not feeling yourself tomorrow afternoon and you have symptoms which you feel are similar to COVID-19, please stay away from the stadium and think of others.
If you have access to a lateral flow/PCR test at home, we would encourage you to check yourself before coming to the game.
If you have been in contact with a positive case and haven’t yet been contacted by track and trace, please do not come to the game.
As ever, those unable to watch the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).