COLERAINE made it ten games unbeaten with a deserved 2-1 win against Newry City…
With the game passing a late pitch inspection, the Bannsiders made four changes for the contest as Lyndon Kane, Conor McDermott, Josh Carson and Lee Lynch were re-instated into the starting eleven.
It would be the hosts who would threaten first as a clever flick by John McGovern released Daniel Hughes inside the box but the former Cliftonville man dragged his effort wide. At the other end, the Stripes would have a goal disallowed as Matthew Shevlin was adjudged to have kicked the ball out of Steven Maguire’s hands before tapping the ball home.
As the pitch cut up due to the weather, Coleraine would start to get a hold of the game as Maguire denied Jamie Glackin from the edge of the box, before the stopper was twice called into action to thwart efforts from Lynch.
Maguire came up trumps yet again as he dived low to keep out Conor McKendry’s daisy cutter from distance before the ‘keeper was alert to deny Shevlin and McKendry within a matter of seconds.
However, a deserved breakthrough arrived on 34 minutes as Coleraine were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box as Shevlin was brought to ground. The ball was expertly put into the back of the net by Carson for his second goal of the campaign.
Oran Kearney’s men started the second-half on the front foot and should have doubled their lead on 47 minutes. A break of the ball allowed Lynch to drive into the hosts’ penalty box but the midfielder struck wide when well placed.
Just after the hour mark, the Bannsiders did strike again as Michael McCrudden made it two goals in as many games. A quick throw-in wasn’t defended and the striker pounced as he lashed an effort below the body of Maguire.
The game should have been dead and buried soon after as Glackin released McKendry inside the area but the winger saw his attempt saved by Maguire, with Glackin involved a minute later as the midfielder’s lobbed effort was headed off the line by Ryan McGivern.
Those missed chances would prove costly as City were awarded a penalty on 75 minutes as Carson was penalised for a foul on James Teelan – even though the 29-year-old appeared to win the ball. Up stepped Hughes who coolly dispatched from 12 yards to make it game on.
Despite the Bannsides’ record of seven consecutive clean sheets coming to an end, stopper Martin Gallagher produced some magic with six minutes remaining as he raced off his line to deny Teelan who was through on goal.
A deserved three points for Kearney’s troops who now face Portadown next.
NEWRY CITY: Maguire, King, N. Healy, McGivern, Hughes, Lockhart (Rocks ’70 mins), McGovern (B. Healy ’70 mins), Donnelly (Carville ’87 mins), Scullion, Montgomery, Lusty (Teelan ’70 mins).
Subs Not Used: Brady (GK), Martin, Sloan.
COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane, Brown, McKendry (O’Mahony ’79 mins), McCrudden (Fyfe ’79 mins), Carson, O’Donnell, Lynch, Glackin, McDermott, Shevlin (J. McLaughlin ’90 mins).
Subs Not Used: Deane (GK), Mullan, Farren, C. McLaughlin.
Referee: Christopher Morrison