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Match Preview

East Bound

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney is expecting another ‘tough battle’ this evening as Coleraine face Glentoran at The Oval (KO 5:30pm)…

Danske Bank Premiership

Overview:

The Bannsiders reached the quarter-final stage of the BetMcLean League Cup on Wednesday night as a brace from Matthew Shevlin helped the holders into the last eight with a 2-0 success against Carrick Rangers. Oran Kearney’s side were last in Premiership action against Glenavon as they were held to a 0-0 draw against the Lurgan Blues. The Stripes are currently in 4th spot in the Danske Bank Premiership table after playing eight games.

Glentoran were also victorious in the League Cup through the week as they won on penalties against Glenavon at Mourneview Park. After a goalless 90 minutes, the game sparked to life in extra-time as the two sides split four goals before the Glens won on spot kicks. Mick McDermott’s side were not in action last weekend due to international call-ups and currently sit in 7th position in the table after playing seven games. There was a flurry of transfer activity in the summer transfer window as Aaron McCarey, Ross Glendinning, Bobby Burns, Shay McCartan and Jordan Jenkins all made the switch to The Oval.

Previous meetings:

The two clubs would meet on four occasions last season as the Bannsiders won the first contest, with the other games finishing in draws.

The first was back in October last year as goals from Stephen O’Donnell and Ben Doherty had the Stripes two goals to the good, before Jay Donnelly headed in to set-up a grandstand finish but the Bannsiders held firm for a 2-1 success at The Showgrounds.

In April, Coleraine made their way to The Oval and fell behind inside 10 minutes as Jay Donnelly blasted into the bottom corner. However, after surviving a sustained period of pressure, Coleraine turned the game on its head to lead through a Matthew Shevlin double. Just when it looked like the Bannsiders would leave with all three points, they conceded an unfortunate own goal as the game finished in a 2-2 draw.

Remarkably, the two clubs would meet three days later at The Showgrounds and once again the Glens would strike first as Robbie McDaid lashed home from Ciaran O’Connor’s strong run. Oran Kearney’s men would earn a share of the spoils as Matthew Shevlin was on hand to convert from Ben Doherty’s inviting cross.

In the post-split fixtures, Glentoran would take the lead on 78 minutes as Rory Donnelly headed into the back of the net from Dale Gorman’s delivery. The Bannsiders ensured that they kept up the chase for the Gibson Cup as they netted a last minute equaliser as Stephen Lowry’s effort deflected into the net.

Manager’s Thoughts:

“They are always tough games at The Oval,” Kearney said.

“I think we had three draws towards the end of last season there.

“They are always close encounters and I’m expecting no different on Saturday.”

Officials:

The match referee will be Andrew Davey.

The assistant referees are Paul Robinson and Stephen Donaldson.

Ben McMaster has been allocated as the fourth official.

Admission:

Coleraine supporters are advised that a cash gate will be in operation – £12 adults and £8 concessions.

Supporters are advised that the fixture will be shown live on BBC Sport NI website and via the Red Button.

If you are not feeling yourself this evening 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).