COLERAINE recorded an opening day win against Cliftonville as they ran out 3-1 victors at The Showgrounds…
Boss Oran Kearney handed competitive debuts to Conor McDermott, Kieran Farren, Dean Jarvis, Lee Lynch and Evan McLaughlin for the contest, with the aforementioned McLaughlin having the first effort on goal as his strike was turned around the post by Fynn Talley.
Cliftonville – who were in Europa Conference League action in the summer – created a chance of their own on nine minutes as Levi Ives’ free-kick went inches wide of the near post.
On a sunny day, the home support thought they had taken the lead just two minutes later as Lee Lynch burst forward, and after the ball ricocheted off several bodies, Jamie Glackin would send a crisp effort just wide.
After a water break due to the warm conditions, the Bannsiders took the lead on 31 minutes. A superb cross into the box by Josh Carson was missed by Matthew Shevlin but not Evan McLaughlin who lashed the ball into the back of the net.
Just when Carson would see a shot saved by Talley, Coleraine would double their lead as pressure on the Reds defence allowed Evan McLaughlin to rob the ball, surge forward and place the ball into the net on 39 minutes.
Before the half-time whistle, Coleraine should have went 3-0 ahead as an error in the Cliftonville defence allowed Lyndon Kane through on goal but the skipper for the day elected to pass when in a good position to shoot.
Cliftonville would make three substitutions early in the second-half and they would half the deficit on 57 minutes as a great delivery by Ives met Ryan Curran inside the box and the striker buried his header into the bottom corner.
The Reds would have all the momentum and they would go within a lick of paint of making it 2-2 on 64 minutes as a one-two found Ronan Hale 25 yards from goal and his thunderous effort smashed the upright.
However, Coleraine would hit the woodwork twice in as many minutes as Dean Jarvis’ header cannoned off the post from Evan McLaughlin’s corner, before Lynch’s effort deflected off Shevlin and hit the crossbar with Talley rooted to the spot.
In added time, Cliftonville would have one final chance to rescue a point as Ronan Hale miscued from Stephen Mallon’s pull back and that would be punished a minute later as Jamie Glackin sealed the win as his strike bounced in front of Talley and went into the net.
COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane, D. Jarvis, Mullan, Carson, Farren, Lynch, Glackin, E. McLaughlin (A. Jarvis ’89 mins), McDermott, Shevlin (McCrudden ’87 mins).
Subs Not Used: Deane (GK), R. Brown, McKendry, J. McLaughlin, O’Mahony.
CLIFTONVILLE: Talley, Ives, Addis (Moore ’87 mins), Gallagher (C. Curran ’55 mins), R. Curran, McDonagh (Mallon ’66 mins), Lowe (Rory Hale ‘55 mins), Gormley, Casey (Doherty ’46 mins), Turner, Ronan Hale.
Subs Not Used: Gartside (GK), Coates.
Referee: Lee Tavinder