EOIN Bradley’s late second-half strike was enough to give Coleraine a hard earned three points at Stangmore Park…
In a first-half that was devoid of any real creativity, it took until seven minutes for the first half chance to arrive as a neat passage of play allowed the ball to land at the feet of Aaron Traynor. The full-back – who was returning from suspension – could only blaze wide from a tight angle.
On 11 minutes, Swifts worked well through the midfield and Ryan Mayse was presented with the ball 25 yards from goal, but the former Ballinamallard United man failed to test Chris Johns. At the other end, a swift counter-attack involving Brad Lyons and Stephen Dooley released Josh Carson, but the midfielder’s effort was deflected narrowly wide by David Armstrong.
Rodney McAree’s men were to suffer a blow midway through the half as Douglas Wilson and Seanan Clucas collided in the air and both players would have to be substituted. Further half chances arrived as Patton was denied by Johns, before Lyons hit an effort into the clutches of Andy Coleman.
However, the Bannsiders would have the best chance of the half as Lyons picked out the run of Traynor and his cross would find its way back to Lyons. The ball looked destined to find the net but Armstrong was once again there to prevent the danger.
The home side started the second-half on the front foot and should have taken the lead on 51 minutes as Mark Patton’s delightful corner-kick wasn’t defended and Armstrong couldn’t connect with the goal at his mercy. Two minutes later, Paul McElroy’s drive from distance was deflected and Mayse had a goal disallowed for offside as Coleraine stood firm.
Oran Kearney decided to shuffle his pack after an hour with Eoin Bradley and Darren McCauley being introduced to find a winner and it duly arrived on 76 minutes. A long ball wasn’t cleared by Kris Lowe and Bradley pounced to chip the ball over the onrushing Coleman for his second goal of the season. The Stripes were then denied a goal by the offside flag as McCauley tapped-in from close range.
On 90 minutes, the visitors were presented with the perfect opportunity to seal a comfortable ending to the match as Bradley was fouled by Armstrong inside the area. McCauley took the responsibility of taking the spot-kick but Coleman made a terrific save to deny the substitute.
Dungannon were unable to find a late equaliser as Coleraine kept pressure on league leaders Crusaders ahead of next Saturday’s clash against Stephen Baxter’s men.
DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Coleman, Hegarty, Wilson (Hutchinson ’25), Armstrong, Mayse, McElroy, Harpur, O’Rourke, Patton (Lafferty ’70), Lowe, Clucas (McMahon ’31).
Subs Not Used: Teggart, Burke.
COLERAINE: Johns, Mullan, Harkin (Bradley ’60), Douglas, Smith (Parkhill ’76), Carson (McCauley ’60), Lyons, O’Donnell, Traynor, McGonigle, Dooley.
Subs Not Used: Ogilby, Whiteside.