COLERAINE move up to sixth position in the Danske Bank Premiership after Saturday’s narrow victory over North West neighbours Institute…
A first half double from Coleraine winger and former Stute player, Darren McCauley, secured victory for the Stripes handing a second win for newly appointed Coleraine boss, Rodney McAree.
In windy conditions at the Brandywell, it was the visitors who went ahead on 10 minutes as Darren McCauley used the wind to his advantage and curled home directly from a corner.
Moments later Coleraine midfielder Ciaron Harkin had an attempt from 20 yards which scuttled narrowly wide of the upright as he looked to bag a goal against his former club.
As Coleraine began to dominate the opposition, the home side reshuffled the pack before the half-hour mark. Stute boss Paddy McLaughlin changed things around with Ronan Wilson dropping into right-back handing Aaron Jarvis a more central midfield role.
Institute went close before the half time interval as Michael McCrudden’s pass found Gareth Brown in space. Opting to shoot, Brown called Coleraine stopper Chris Johns into action to overt the danger, keeping his clean sheet in tact.
Institute were left frustrated in the dieing embers of the first half as Coleraine doubled their lead thanks to the lively McCauley. The winger showed power and skill to cut in from the left wing before curling a right footed strike from the edge of the box which found its way into the back of the net.
Similarly to the first half, the wind was unrelenting during the second half, however, it was now the turn of Institute to benefit from the difficult conditions.
Coleraine almost conceded in the opening minutes of the second half as a dangerous ball into the box needed a goal line clearance from Ciaron Harkin to ensure the Bannsiders’ two goal cushion.
A spell of pressure and a succession of corners fashioned a chance for the ever present Ronan Doherty. The midfielder smashed the ball into a dangerous area as Chris Johns could only watch the ball flash narrowly wide.
Coleraine were saved by the crossbar on 57 minutes as Michael McCrudden’s 20 yard curling effort came crashing off the crossbar. The striker showed great tenacity in the build up to work and opening and was unlucky not to pull a goal back for McLaughlin’s men.
Almost instantly the woodwork saved Coleraine once again. An accurate free kick from Doherty looked to pick out Dean Currie but the ball glanced off the head of Coleraine defender Stephen O’Donnell before being eventually hooked from danger.
The Drumahoe outfit went all out in the closing minutes as Darren Henderson, Joe McCready and Callum Moorehead all entered the fray. Immediately McCready threatened but his effort was thwarted by Chris Johns in the Coleraine goal.
With minutes remaining Institute managed to pull a goal back. Dean Curry launched the ball over the top where Moorehead controlled well before squaring the ball across goal to the advancing McCready who slotted home from 6 yards.
On the comeback trail ‘Stute rallied but it was too little too late for the Drumahoe natives which allowed the Bannsiders to move back into the top half of the table.
INSTITUTE: Gallagher, McLaughlin, Bonner, D. Curry, Doherty, Harkin (Henderson ’72 mins), McCrudden, Jarvis, Brown (McCready ’65 mins), Wilson, McIntyre (Moorehead ’60 mins).
Subs Not Used: R. Morrow, Dunne, S. Curry, Scoltock.
COLERAINE: Johns, Mullan (Parkhill ’72 mins), Harkin, Douglas, McCauley, Lowry, Bradley, Carson, Burns, O’Donnell, Canning.
Subs Not Used: Doherty, Crown, McGonigle, Gawne, Whiteside, J. Bradley.
Referee: Shane Andrews