COLERAINE gained ‘Swift’ revenge over Dungannon as the Danske Bank Premiership resumed at a bitterly cold Showgrounds this afternoon…
By: Michael Anderson
Oran Kearney’s men suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of today’s opponents at the beginning of December.
But the Bannsiders are in much improved form now and this afternoon’s success – with the game given the go ahead after a mid morning pitch inspection – makes it four wins on the spin.
Coleraine’s new found confidence was evident from the start and they needed just eight minutes to take the lead. Man of the match Eoin Bradley did well to hold the ball up before passing to Jamie Glackin and his cross was headed home by the unmarked Aaron Jarvis.
It was a case of unlucky 13 (minutes) when a brilliant through ball by Bradley released Josh Carson whose shot was blocked by the legs of ‘keeper Sam Johnston.
The Bannsiders controlled most of the possession throughout the first half and played some good football at times. Stewart Nixon tried to get in on the act after 36 minutes when he got in ahead of his marker but his header from Gareth McConaghie’s free kick went wide.
Dungannon, without a win since theat success against Coleraine, offered little threat. It took until the 40th minute for them to have their first shot on target. Caolan McAleer tried his luck but a goal kick was awarded by referee Tim Marshall although Gareth Deane appeared to push the ball around the post.
Midfielder Jarvis almost repeated his earlier trick three minutes before the break when he found space in the box but Johnston held his shot.
Coleraine looked set to increase their lead within five minutes of the second period when Aaron Traynor burst into the area but instead of shooting he tried to tee up Bradley and the pass was crucially intercepted.
Bradley, recovered from a broken toe, turned and fired in a low drive just before the hour mark but his shot lacked the power to trouble Johnston.
The visitors, with a change in shape at the interval, looked livelier in the second half and Ben Gallagher headed a Rhys Campbell cross narrowly off target on 61 minutes.
Matthew Shevlin replaced Nixon and almost scored with his first touch but he headed Glackin’s 65th minute corner over the crossbar.
Dungannon grew in confidence as the half progressed and Dean was called into action on 72 minutes to hold James Convie’s shot.
At the other end Bradley threatened but Callum Byers got a vital touch to reflect his shot for a corner.
Moments later the striker had another chance but he headed Glackin’s cross over.
Not to be deterred however, Skinner then produced a goal worthy of winning any games as he unleashed a stunning right foot drive home from outside the box after 77 minutes after a flick on by debutant Shevlin who impressed after coming off the bench.
He went close five minutes from time but his shot rolled inches past the far post.
And he almost made it a debut to remember when he connected with Bradley’s injury time cross but his header rebounded off the crossbar.
All in all a satisfactory day’s work on the resumption of the league campaign.
A stiffer test now awaits at Inver Park against Larne on Tuesday night.
COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, Jarvis, Lowry, Bradley, Carson, McConaghie, O’Donnell, Glackin (Parkhill ’81 mins), Traynor, Nixon (Shevlin ’64 mins).
Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), Canning, McLaughlin, Wilson, Allen.
DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Johnston, Coyle, Teggart, Wilson, Byers, McAleer (Mayse ’71 mins), O. Smyth, Campbell, Gallagher (Convie ’71 mins), Carvill (Lowe ’82 mins), Devlin.
Subs Not Used: Byrne (GK), Hughes, Teelan, M. Smyth.
Referee: Tim Marshall