Danske Bank Premiership: Matchday 28

Coleraine 1 - 1 Glenavon
10 Feb 2018 - 15:00The Showgrounds

DESPITE creating numerous opportunities Coleraine were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Glenavon at The Showgrounds…

By: Aaron O’Neill

The result sees the Bannsiders maintain their 13 point gap over the Lurgan Blues in the standings.

The Bannsiders could have made the perfect start and should have been ahead in the opening minute. Jamie McGonigle sent Eoin Bradley through on goal but his effort was saved by Johnny Tuffey. Seconds later McGonigle had a chance of his own. The forward capitalised on Mark Sykes’ mistake but failed to find his footing inside the penalty area.

Sykes recovered well and mustered a shot for the visitors after 2 minutes but his weak attempt was easily gathered by Johns. Both sides had further chances in the opening exchanges as Murray and McConaghie went close but to no avail.

The Bannsiders looked to have grabbed the lead just before the half hour mark. Darren McCauley’s corner found Gareth McConaghie, but his glancing header flashed wide of the far post. The home side continued to mount the pressure throughout the first-half as Smith and McGonigle threatened.

Sammy Clingan looked to have given the Lurgan Blues the lead before the interval as his free-kick forced Johns into a smart save from 20 yards. Oran Kearney’s side were awarded a penalty on 43 minutes as McGonigle was hauled down by Caolan Marron inside the area. Up stepped Ciaron Harkin but his spot-kick was saved by Tuffey.

Gary Hamilton’s men seemed to have no answer for Coleraine’s attacking style of play in the first-half and were fortunate not to be trailing. A number of spurned opportunities for the home-side meant the scores were level at the break.

Glenavon came out of the blocks the faster in the second-half and went ahead on 53 minutes. Coleraine failed to clear Bobby Burns’ in-swinging corner and the ball was bundled home by Andy Hall from close range. Joel Cooper could have doubled Glenavon’s lead but his rasping shot was held by Johns.

The Bannsiders levelled on the hour mark as Eoin Bradley’s curling free-kick sailed into the top corner beyond reach of Tuffey in the Glenavon goal. Coleraine looked to have grabbed the lead minutes later. Aaron Traynor’s cross found the head of Bradley but his looping header was tipped over.

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton was sent to the stands midway through the second-half after an altercation with the fourth official. The visitors could have grabbed the lead moments later as Murray found Griffin but his effort drifted over.

Ciaron Harkin went close for Oran Kearney’s men before McCauley’s shot from distance hit the crossbar. Glenavon looked to have won it at the death as Griifin’s initial effort was deflected into the path of Mitchell but his effort was saved by Johns. Glenavon were reduced to 10 men moments later as Sykes was dismissed for a two-footed lunge on Eoin Bradley.

In what was a thrilling game at the Showgrounds both sides had to settle for a point maintaining a 13 point gap between the sides. Crusaders’ victory means the Bannsiders now trail Stephen Baxter’s side by 5 points.

COLERAINE: Johns, Kane, Harkin, McCauley, Smith, Bradley, Carson (Parkhill, 89 mins), McConaghie, O’Donnell, Traynor, McGonigle

SUBS: Doherty (GK), Mullan, Douglas, Ogilby.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Burns, Marshall, Mitchell (Norton, 89 mins), Hall (Griffin, 71 mins), Sykes, Marron, Clingan, Cooper, Murray, Singleton (Doyle, 77 mins).

Unused Subs: Foley, McGrory.

Stats:

 

Coleraine FH

Coleraine SH

Glenavon FH

Glenavon SH

Shots on Target

6

6

2

3

Shots off Target

4

6

2

2

Corners

4

4

2

3

Offsides

2

2

2

1

Yellow Cards

1

1

2

0 (Sykes Red)

Fouls

7

8

4

4