Danske Bank Premiership: Matchday 21

Coleraine 2 - 0 Ballymena United
26 Dec 2022 - 15:00The Showgrounds

COLERAINE moved up to fifth spot in the Danske Bank Premiership after a 2-0 win against Ballymena United on Boxing Day…

In front of a packed crowd at The Showgrounds, the first chance of the game would arrive from the boot of Steven McCullough who forced Gareth Deane into a routine save from a long range free-kick.

A minute later, Coleraine would create their first opportunity as a luck of the ball allowed Conor McKendry to burst through on goal, but just when the winger was ready to stab an effort towards goal, he somewhat lost his footing and his effort went wide.

After Jack O’Mahony was denied by the gloves of Sean O’Neill, the Bannsiders took the lead on 23 minutes. A cross into the box by McKendry looked to have got a touch from Shevlin but it didn’t with the winger credited for breaking the deadlock.

On 35 minutes, the Stripes would go further ahead as Jamie Glackin found Shevlin inside the box. The striker still had so much to do but he moved the ball onto his right foot before blasting his strike into the net via the crossbar to make it 17 goals for the campaign.

The hosts should have wrapped the game up before half-time as Glackin struck into the gloves of a grateful O’Neill, with McKendry cutting inside and seeing a strike deflect wide. Before the whistle blew, Stephen O’Donnell would clip the top off the crossbar from a corner kick.

Ballymena were much improved after the break and Coleraine had Deane to thank as the stopper came off his line quickly to thwart David McDaid who was clean through on goal. 

The Stripes were happy to sit back and threaten on the counter and Shevlin should have made it 3-0 on 72 minutes. The striker was sent through one-on-one but O’Neill would come up trumps to deny the ex-Ballymena man.

The woodwork would be left shaking for a second time late on as Ryan Waide’s strike from an acute angle smashed off the crossbar as Coleraine made it 951 minutes without conceding a goal in the Danske Bank Premiership.

A good end to 2022 for Oran Kearney’s men who kick-start the New Year with a visit to Linfield.

COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, D. Jarvis, McKendry (Lynch ’70 mins), Carson, Farren, O’Donnell, Glackin, O’Mahony (E. McLaughlin ’86 mins), McDermott, Shevlin (McCrudden ’85 mins).

Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), Brown, A. Jarvis, Lowry.

BALLYMENA UNITED: O’Neill, Nelson, Redman (Waide ’57 mins), Wilson, Whiteside, McDaid, Kelly, McElroy (Gibson ’57 mins), McCullough (Henderson ’29 mins), Graham, Place.

Subs Not Used: Williamson (GK), Loughran, Kane, McGrory.

Referee: Jamie Robinson