Match Preview

First Crusade

THE top two clash in the Danske Bank Premiership tomorrow afternoon as Crusaders are the visitors to The Showgrounds…

Danske Bank Premiership

Overview:

The Bannsiders were thwarted in their efforts to make it three successive wins in the Danske Bank Premiership last weekend after a 1-1 draw against Ballymena United. The visitors made the perfect start as James McLaughlin broke the deadlock on 13 minutes, but they were dealt a blow as Stephen O’Donnell received his marching orders in the first-half as Sky Blues defender Scot Whiteside made the extra man count to equalise. No further goals would arrive after the break as Coleraine were reduced to nine men following Adam Mullan’s dismissal. As for the Crues, they are currently top of the pile and secured a 3-2 win over Glenavon last time out via goals from Paul Heatley, Philip Lowry and David Cushley.

Recent meetings:

The two sides were well accustomed to each other last season as they met five times in all competitions. The Bannsiders won the first at Seaview as goals from Josh Carson and Jamie McGonigle (2) earned a 3-0 success. A few months later, a solitary strike from Gareth McConaghie was enough to edge all three points towards the Stripes. In February, there was goals galore as Stephen Baxter’s men ran out 4-2 winners at Seaview in February. There was also an Irish Cup semi-final as Crusaders secured a 2-0 success in March, before Coleraine were 4-2 victors in the final fixture between the pair.

Team News:

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney will be without the services of suspended duo Stephen O’Donnell and Adam Mullan following their dismissals against Ballymena United. In a further blow, striker James McLaughlin will also be out as he suffered a hamstring injury last weekend. However, Gareth McConaghie and Josh Carson returned against the Sky Blues and Lyndon Kane is also available for selection.

Manager’s Thoughts:

“They are all big games, this month has been massive and it doesn’t get any easier that is what the league is all about,” Kearney said.

“They have had a real good start and we will need a real big performance.

“The players who were sent off will miss next Saturday, but there are guys on the bench like Josh Carson and Gareth McConaghie who have just come back from injury.

“Lyndon Kane will be back and we have decent depth and quality within the squad so we will dust ourselves down and go again.”

Admission:

Supporters are reminded that entry is via valid matchday cards/season tickets only.

Admission for using a matchday card is £12 adults, £8 concessions.

As ever, those unable to attend can follow the latest developments from the fixture via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).

The Club will also be holding a Foodbank Collection and we urge supporters to donate if possible HERE.

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