COLERAINE remained in fifth place in the Danske Bank Premiership after failing to break the deadlock in a closely contested match with Linfield…
By: Demos Erwin
Following Tuesday’s 1-0 win against Ballymena, the Bannsiders were looking to continue their winning momentum from the cup into today’s league outing.
It would be the visitors who had the first sight of goal in the early stages of the game with Joel Cooper hitting a low freekick just wide of Martin Gallagher’s post in the 12th minute. Coleraine’s first major opportunity came in the 19th minute with some good play by Conor McKendry on the right hand side led to him standing up a cross for Matthew Shevlin at the back post. The Coleraine striker couldn’t make firm contact with the ball and as a result a Linfield goal kick was the outcome.
Linfield would cause the Coleraine backline a problem in the 33rd minute after excellent play down the right hand side by Daniel Finalyson. The defender’s cross fell in Cooper’s region, with the winger’s presence forcing Coleraine to put the ball out of play for a Linfield corner.
The best chance of the first half came Linfield’s way in the 45th minute. After a series of passes on the edge of the Coleraine box, the ball made its way out wide to Kirk Millar. The Linfield winger put a very tempting ball towards the back post with Robbie McDaid and Stephen Fallon waiting. It would be Fallon who got on the end of the cross, however, the midfielder could only head his effort over the bar. This would prove to be the last action of a half that contained very few chances for either side.
An excellent piece of composure by Lee Lynch in the middle of the field, dribbling past two players gave Conor McKendry the space to drive directly towards the Linfield goal. The wide man did just that and earned his side a freekick on the edge of the Linfield box just 10 seconds into the second half. Josh Carson’s curling freekick was well saved by Linfield goalkeeper Christopher Johns.
Another chance would come and go for the Bannsiders as the ball was picked up by Glackin at the edge of the area but his strike went harmlessly over the crossbar. The visitors came close to breaking the deadlock on the 80th minute as the ball fell for Stephen Fallon just inside the box, the midfielder volleyed his effort just wide of Martin Gallagher’s net.
The second half proved to be much more lively than the first, however neither side could find an opening meaning the points had to be shared.
COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane, Mullan, McKendry, Carson, O’Donnell, Lynch, Glackin (O’Mahony ’86 mins), E. McLaughlin (A. Jarvis ’90 mins), McDermott, Shevlin (J. McLaughlin ’84 mins).
Subs Not Used: Deane (GK), Farren, Dealey, Patton.
LINFIELD: Johns, Roscoe-Byrne, Newberry, Millar (Devine ’69 mins), McClean, Cooper, McDaid, Clarke, Finlayson, Fallon, Mulgrew (Vertainen ’85 mins).
Subs Not Used: Walsh (GK), Callacher, McKee, Quinn, Palmer.
Referee: Raymond Crangle