MATTHEW Shevlin celebrated hitting 50 Coleraine goals in fine style as the Bannsiders picked up a 3-0 away win at Dungannon Swifts…
The Stripes made three changes for the trip as Gareth Deane, Lee Lynch and Andy Scott were drafted in for Martin Gallagher, Jamie Glackin and Conor McKendry.
The early part of the game saw both teams enjoy plenty of possession but no guilt edged chances, although the visitors were dealt with a blow on 18 minutes as Conor McDermott picked up a knock as was no longer able to continue.
Just after the half hour mark, Coleraine were able to carve open the hosts defence as Josh Carson played in Scott but the winger’s driven effort was blocked by Michael Ruddy.
Two minutes later, a crisp delivery into the box by Carson met the head of Shevlin but his attempt was comfortably gathered by Declan Dunne.
Dean Shiels side almost took the lead in fortuitous circumstances as a cross into the box was directed goalwards by Stephen O’Donnell who saw his deflection clip the top of the crossbar.
As the game entered first-half stoppage time, the Bannsiders would strike first as a through ball by Scott released Shevlin and his shot trickled into the back of the net.
The first opportunity of the second-half would land at the feet of Scott who blazed over the crossbar after a quick short corner routine. A few minutes later, the same player would hit the side netting a clever piece of play involving Michael McCrudden and Shevlin.
However, Coleraine would double their lead on 81 minutes as a corner kick by Lynch was flicked goalwards by Shevlin. A melee resulted in substitute Eamon Fyfe reacting quickest to poke the ball home for his first goal since joining in the January transfer window.
Dungannon would have a sight of goal through Ryan Mayse’s effort from distance but Coleraine soon made it 3-0 on 89 minutes. A cut back by Carson was on the money for Shevlin to slam home his 50th goal for the club.
Things almost got better Shevlin as he was denied a hat-trick by the post as he headed Scott’s cross against the upright, with Kearney handing competitive debuts to Sean Carlin and Corey McLaughlin at the death.
14 games unbeaten for Coleraine who now face Cliftonville in the Irish Cup next weekend.
DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Dunne, Marron, Knowles, McCready (Mayse ’62 mins), Campbell, McGinty, Walsh (Moore ’73 mins), Ruddy (O’Kane ’73 mins), McGee, Animasahun, Bruna (Lynch ’82 mins).
Subs Not Used: Nelson (GK), Francis, Scott.
COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, D. Jarvis, Brown, McCrudden (Fyfe ’76 mins), Carson (C. McLaughlin ’90 mins), O’Donnell, Lynch, McDermott (A. Jarvis ’19 mins), Shevlin, Scott (Carlin ’90 mins).
Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), Mullan, Farren.
Referee: Ben McMaster