Match Preview

“Fans are massive” – OK

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney has called for a cauldron like atmosphere as his players take on Larne at The Showgrounds this evening (KO 7:45pm)…

Danske Bank Premiership


The Bannsiders moved up to third in the Premiership standings after last weekend’s 2-0 success against Dungannon Swifts. A first-half header from Matthew Shevlin had Kearney’s men well on their way before Cathair Friel headed home just four minutes after the break to seal all three points. The Stripes will have Conor McKendry back from suspension after the winger had to sit out the win against Dean Shiels’ troops after accumulating five yellow cards.

Larne are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions and currently sit second in the Danske Bank Premiership table. After edging out Crusaders two weeks ago, Tiernan Lynch’s side also beat Glenavon at Inver Park as Davy McDaid, Ben Doherty and Jeff Hughes were on the scoresheet. The Inver Reds are also in the semi-final of the County Antrim Shield and will face Ballyclare Comrades in the final four of the competition.

Previous meetings:

The two clubs met each other on the opening night of the season as the Bannsiders were the visitors to Inver Park. After Matthew Shevlin and Mark Randall threatened at either end, the hosts would take the lead just after the half hour mark as Kofi Balmer headed in from Ben Doherty’s corner kick.

However, Coleraine equalised on 51 minutes as Lyndon Kane’s cross was headed into the net by Aaron Traynor and there would be a melee four minutes later after David McDaid’s late tackle on Traynor. On 68 minutes, Kearney’s men would take the lead as Conor McKendry’s free-kick was headed into the net by Matthew Shevlin.

That lead would only last five minutes as McDaid made it 2-2, and just when it looked like the game would end in a draw, the Inver Reds would pocket all three points as Doherty netted against his former club on 87 minutes, with Lee Lynch adding a late fourth.

Manager’s Thoughts:

“The Larne game is the only one we concern ourselves on,” said Kearney ahead of a big run of fixtures.

“Friday night is going to be tough and it was a great game up there when we played them earlier in the season and Larne edged it that night.

“We know the levels we are going to have to get to on Friday and we look forward trying to do that.

“The fans are big on a night like that.

“We had a good crowd last Saturday, it was good to hear the drum being played and it’s so important at home.

“When you look back to the levels we have hit in previous years, the crowd and the cauldron atmosphere has been so important and it’s something coming back from COVID that we’ve missed.

“It is great to hear that level of noise again and fingers crossed on Friday night they can bring it big time.”


The match referee will be Shane Andrews.

The assistant referees are Paul Robinson and Jamie Carnduff.

Ben McMaster has been allocated as the fourth official.


The match sponsor is Garvagh Precision Engineering.

Dallas Mortgages and Irish Black Butter have kindly agreed to sponsor the match ball.

The mascots this evening will be Ole, Dylan and Georgia and they 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.

Larne fans will also need tickets to enter the stadium which can be purchased HERE.

Supporters are reminded that the match will be streamed live on the BBC Sport NI website and via the Red Button.

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).