Down Memory Lane

Down Memory Lane

COLERAINE would produce a clinical performance at Seaview in 2018 as Jamie McGonigle netted a second-half brace in north Belfast…


Monday, September 3, 2018


Crusaders 0-3 Coleraine

Goals – Carson (’11 mins), McGonigle (’65 & ’70 mins)


COLERAINE moved top of the table on goal difference as a strong second-half performance saw them sweep aside Crusaders at Seaview.

The Bannsiders made a strong start to proceedings and threatened on 7 minutes as a crisp delivery from Ciaron Harkin met the head of Gareth McConaghie, but the defender failed to keep his effort on target. Four minutes later, the visitors took the lead as a defensive mistake by Howard Beverland was punished as Josh Carson slammed home from close range after Sean O’Neill parried Eoin Bradley’s drive. It was the midfielder’s first goal of the new campaign.

However Crusaders will feel that they should have equalised two minutes later as neat play resulted in BJ Burns finding the run of Paul Heatley, but thankfully for the Stripes, the attacker failed to trouble Chris Johns. Stephen Baxter’s side would have a sustained spell of pressure but the Coleraine rearguard held firm with Aaron Canning making a vital clearance to deny Jordan Owens, before Jordan Forsythe’s rasping free-kick was deflected wide.

The second-half started like the first ended as Foysthe’s instinctive volley sailed over the crossbar, before ex-Coleraine man Matthew Snoddy forced Chris Johns into tipping the ball over the bar. At the other end, Coleraine should have doubled their lead on 58 minutes as Colin Coates missed the ball and Bradley was sent clear. The striker took his time and picked out Darren McCauley inside the area but the winger blazed over.

Just after the hour mark, the reigning champions thought they had restored parity as the dangerous Burns cut in from the right-hand side before driving the ball towards goal. Bannsiders stopper Chris Johns was down low to keep out the full-back’s strike. That would prove to be a massive save as Oran Kearney’s side stretched their lead on 65 minutes as a slip from Sean Ward allowed Jamie McGonigle to pounce from close range with a trademark finish.

Remarkably, the game was over as a contest on 70 minutes as a long ball was expertly taken down by McGonigle and the Northern Ireland under-21 international hit a daisy cutter into the bottom corner leaving O’Neill with no chance. The Dungiven man’s eighth goal against Crusaders in his last six games. The Irish Cup holders were sensing blood and nearly grabbed a fourth as McConaghie’s header was blocked by Burns, with Bradley also firing over from the edge of the box.

A deserved win for Kearney’s troops who will now host Formartine United in the second round of the Irn-Bru Challenge Cup.


CRUSADERS: O’Neill, Burns, Beverland, Coates, Lowry (Snoddy ’29 mins), Ward, Caddell (Cushley ’69 mins), Forsythe, Carvill (Patterson ’69 mins), J. Owens, Heatley.

Subs Not Used: Doherty (GK), McChrystal, K.Owens, Clarke.

COLERAINE: Johns, Harkin, McCauley, Lowry, Bradley, Carson, McConaghie, O’Donnell, Traynor, McGonigle (Parkhill ’90+2 mins), Canning.

Subs Not Used: Doherty (GK), Mullan, Douglas, Crown, Burns, Gawne.


Arnold Hunter