Eyes on the prize for Doc

COLERAINE midfielder Ben Doherty has eyes only on cup progression as the Bannsiders host Crusaders tomorrow night (KO 7:45pm)…

In the tie of the round at The Showgrounds, the Stripes will clash against familiar foes Crusaders as both sides aim for cup glory this season.

Speaking after Saturday’s win against Ballymena United, the influential Doherty is hoping that he and his team-mates can use home comforts to their advantage against Stephen Baxter’s side.

“The main aim coming here was to get the three points,” he said.

“Obviously the last five league games are massive for us and we have to keep on the tails of the two teams above us.

“The three points was what we needed today and nothing less.

“The big games are coming thick and fast.

“The five or six games left are all massive and it’s now about turning our attention to Tuesday night.

“We want to progress in the cup and we are going back to The Showgrounds so we will be looking forward to it.”

The Bannsiders banked all three points at Warden Street thanks to goals from Aaron Traynor and Stephen Lowry, with Doherty claiming that those strikes arrived at ‘good times’ in the contest.

“I think our two goals came at good times,” he continued.

“I thought we were solid in the first-half but we were maybe missing that final pass or a killer instinct.

“To be fair to Aaron, he done well to read the ball and drive into the box and he took the goal well.

“We started the second-half well and Stevie tucks one away and that gave us the licence to go but we probably should have seen the game out better.

“That’s what we will learn of and the important thing was to leave with the three points.”

Ballymena reduced their arrears as Ross Redman headed home from Shay McCartan’s cross, and despite admitting there was a few nervy moments towards the end, Doherty was pleased to see the Stripes dig deep to clinch the derby day bragging rights.

“We withstood a good amount of pressure at the end,” he concluded.

“It was a good sign for us that we were able to do that.

“They are a big physical team and they threw everything at us towards the end, especially with all the attackers on, which made it a bit nervy at the end.

“We definitely should have had more goals with the breakaway chances that we had but we managed to clinch the win.”