IT is the first derby day clash of the season as Coleraine travel to Ballymena United tomorrow afternoon (KO 3pm)…
Danske Bank Premiership
The Bannsiders moved up to second in the Danske Bank Premiership after a 5-0 win against Dungannon Swifts last weekend. It was a game to remember for James McLaughlin who got on the scoresheet four times, with Aaron Jarvis also netting on his home debut. A much changed Coleraine side would be knocked out of the North-West Cup on Tuesday night, but there was valuable game time for the likes of Martin Gallagher, Steven Douglas, Aaron Traynor, Andrew Whiteside, Alexander Gawne and Emmett McGuckin. As for Ballymena, they had a successful week after a league win against Warrenpoint Town, before edging out Dundela in the County Antrim Shield.
Coleraine found Ballymena United a tough nut to crack last season after drawing two games and losing the other two against their fierce rivals. The opening two games were draws as Coleraine were reduced to ten men in each of those two games, with the first contest ending 2-2 on the Ballycastle Road, before the enthralling 3-3 draw on Boxing Day. In the third clash, the Stripes were reduced to ten men in the first-half and fell behind to Andy McGrory’s close range header, before Adam Lecky controversially added a second. David Jeffrey’s troops secured all three points after the interval as McGrory completed his hat-trick. The final meeting went also in the way of the Sky Blues as Leroy Millar’s solitary strike separated the two sides.
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney is boosted by the return of Josh Carson and Gareth McConaghie from injury. In a further addition to the squad, striker Eoin Bradley finalised his suspension and completed 65 minutes against Moyola Park in the North-West Cup on Tuesday night.
All we can do is to keep churning out the clean sheets and try to keep the back door shut,” Kearney said.
“We must also look to create chances and be offensive and we have done that well over the last few weeks.
“It is a derby but also it is another opportunity for three points and we want to try and carry on in the form that we are in.”
Admission has been set at £12 adults, £8 concessions and is a cash gate.
As ever, those unable to attend can follow the latest developments from the fixture via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).