Down Memory Lane

Down Memory Lane

WITH the on-going help of club historian Hunter McClelland, brings you the latest instalment of the ‘Down Memory Lane’ series as Stephen Carson struck to defeat Dungannon Swifts in January 2009…


Saturday, January 10, 2009.


Coleraine 2-1 Dungannon Swifts

Goals – Boyce (37 mins), Carson (82 mins); McMinn (66 mins).

Darren Boyce lifts the ball over Nelson’s head for Coleraine’s opener


A late goal from Stephen Carson settled an eventful contest at The Showgrounds, which saw both Coleraine and Dungannon Swifts reduced to 10 men in the second half. Darren Boyce followed up last week’s hat trick by scoring the opener before the break, although he and Dungannon’s Shane Mulgrew were both shown the red card after Adam McMinn’s equaliser.

Coleraine started poorly against a Dungannon side which had been enjoying a run of good form of late and were looking to continue the improvement which took them off the bottom of the league. Ryan Mullan headed over after Coleraine had failed to cut out a cross from the left, while a superb tackle from Harkin was needed to deny Linfield target Mark McAllister a scoring chance after Crossan had missed a header.

There was another lucky escape for Coleraine just afterwards as with high winds playing havoc with the aerial ball, O’Hare dropped the ball close to the line as it came in from a corner, but fortunately managed to gather it before it was forced over the line. He then needed a second attempt to gather another shot which swerved wickedly in the air.

Apart from a few ultimately fruitless crosses into the box, Coleraine had hardly bothered Dwayne Nelson at all and their first real effort on goal didn’t arrive until past the half hour mark. On this occasion it came to nothing as a surging run from Harkin ended with a poor shot which didn’t trouble the Swifts’ ‘keeper.

Yet, somewhat against the run of play Coleraine did take the lead in the 37th minute. Darren Boyce was put through on goal and with Nelson out quickly and committed, he seized his opportunity and lobbed the ball into the net. Moments later, Dungannon were fortunate not to be reduced to ten men when Hunter, clean through on goal was scythed down on the edge of the box by Montgomery. For reasons best known to himself, referee Brian Turkington neither awarded a free kick and produced a red card, or had he adjudged it to be a dive, a yellow card
for Hunter.

Another strange decision also nearly cost Coleraine dear before the break as after an initial shot was parried by O’Hare; McAllister poked the ball into the side-netting, only for a corner to be awarded. This started a passage of play where Coleraine struggled to clear their lines from a series of set pieces, ultimately resulting in a chance for Dungannon which McVey headed off the line.

The visitors again made a better start in the second half, but failed to trouble O’Hare, their best move culminating in an air shot from McAllister as he attempted to hit the ball on the volley. Coleraine then nearly added a second as Nelson raced off his line to close down Carson, who squared the ball to McCallion, but the captain’s shot was off target, nowhere near the unguarded net.

The goal which Dungannon had long threatened arrived as a series of set pieces increased the pressure on Coleraine’s defence. They failed to adequately clear their lines on a number of occasions before Neil McCafferty’s cross was turned into the net by Adam McMinn. Then came the two sendings off as Boyce’s reaction to a poor challenge led to several other Dungannon and Coleraine players crowding in and Turkington producing red cards for Boyce and Shane Mulgrew.

With both teams now with a man less the game began to open up, with Coleraine going close twice through McCallion and Dungannon always posing a danger on the break and from set pieces. But with eight minutes of the 90 remaining, Coleraine got the breakthrough.

Carson, who had been quiet by his usual standards, but found some space on the left and after a quick one-two was bearing down on Nelson’s goal. He took it past the ‘keeper and looked to have carried the ball too wide for a shot, but from an acute angle, he rolled the ball home.

A third could have arrived courtesy of a quick counter attack spearheaded by Carson and Harkin, which finished with the former crossing for McCallion, who volleyed into the side-netting. Coleraine were thankful that they weren’t made to pay for missing this chance as late on another corner for Dungannon was headed just wide.


COLERAINE: O’Hare, Beverland, Crossan, Hunter (Tolan ’73 mins), McVey, P McLaughlin, Boyce, McCallion, Carson, Harkin, Shields.

Sub Not Used: Patton, Neill, Dooley, McClements.

DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Nelson, Mullan, Murphy (Mulgrew ’53 mins), Montgomery, McMinn, Tomelty (McGerrigan ’86 mins), Fitzpatrick, McCafferty, McCann, Adamson (McCreadie ’62 mins), McAllister.

Subs Not Used: McAliskey.


Brian Turkington